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image copyrightWest Yorkshire Police

Nathan Stapleton, Kameron Akram and Andrew Lister were jailed after using tracking devices to locate their victims.

Gang members who spent a year robbing the homes of Chinese business owners after planting tracking devices in their cars have been jailed.

Nathan Stapleton, Kameron Akram and Andrew Lister used the devices to show when their targets had left home.

The Bradford gang’s method was revealed after a tracer was found in one of their victims’ cars, police said.

At Leeds Crown Court on Friday, the trio received sentences ranging from four to seven years.

Stapleton, Akram and Lister chose to target Chinese restaurant and takeaway owners in Leeds, believing cash from their businesses would be kept in their homes, West Yorkshire Police said.

Detective Inspector Vicky Vessey said the “highly sophisticated” tracking equipment used by the men allowed them to identify and track their victims, adding that “it was also their undoing”.

image copyrightWes Yorkshire Police

Police were alerted to the gang’s activities after a tracking device was found in a robbery victim’s car.

The gang’s activities were discovered in December 2020 when the owner of a Chinese takeaway left his home in Tingley for about an hour, during which time the property was robbed.

The victim told police that two days prior to the robbery, someone had been seen under her vehicle outside the takeout business.

When officers looked under the car, they found a small black box with a tracking device inside attached to the rear axle of the car.

Analysis of the device allowed police to identify more tracers that had been used to target other victims, the West Yorkshire force said.

Another tracer was later found at Lister’s address, while another was recovered at Akram’s home, along with drugs and cash, police added.

‘Painstaking work’

The three men, from Bradford, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit robbery.

Akram also pleaded guilty to possession of cannabis with intent to supply.

Stapleton, 27, of Howarth Avenue, was jailed for seven years.

Lister, 26, of Churchfields, received a sentence of six years and seven months.

Meanwhile, Akram, 22, from Pelham Court, was jailed for four years and four months.

Det Insp Vessey said: “These criminals exploited relatively new technology to track down their victims.

“The painstaking work utilizing the expertise of specialized digital media researchers was able to build a clear picture that brought us right to their doorstep.”

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