A Manchester-based gang of car thieves went on a two-year spree across Cheshire targeting a high-performance version of the Fiat 500.

They stole at least 19 of the vehicles - mainly the Abarth 500, a hot hatchback type of the iconic Italian city car.

Now three men have been jailed.

Alan Dunwoody, 38, of Pewsey Road, Wythenshawe; and Mark Strutt, 42, of Glebe Street, Stockport, were both sentenced to four years in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit burglary and conspiracy to steal.

Ryan Dunwoody, 35, of HMP Wymott, Lancashire, was handed a 22 month custodial sentence after admitting theft of a motor vehicle.

Another man, Mark Ford, 23, of Glebe Street, Stockport, was sentenced to 20 months in prison suspended for two years after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit burglary with intent to steal.

Ryan Dunwoody, handed 22-month sentence for being member of Manchester gang who stole Abarth Fiat 500s from across Cheshire.

Chester Crown Court was told how between them the group were responsible for the theft at least 19 vehicles from homes and business premises across Cheshire, including premises in Knutsford, Macclesfield, Northwich, Wilmslow and Alderley Edge.

The incidents occurred between June 2018 and April 2020, with the majority of offences involving keyless car thefts, although the gang also broke into a number of homes.

They primarily targeted Fiat Abarths, but also stole other vehicles including Ford Focus, Vauxhall Corsa and two Fiat Ducato car transporters.

Alan Dunwoody, 38, from Wythenshawe, jailed for four years after admitting conspiracy to commit burglary and conspiracy to steal. His gang stole at least 19 cars from across Cheshire

Following their sentencing, Det Con Andrew Street from Macclesfield CID said: “Throughout this investigation it was clear that this gang had no boundaries, even at the height of lockdown, the gang had the audacity to steal four vehicles in one night from a garage on the outskirts of Northwich, which had a value of £92,000.

“Thankfully as a result of our investigation the gang are now facing the consequences of their actions.

Mark Strutt, 42, from Glebe Street, Stockport, jailed for being part of gang that stole 19 vehicles across Cheshire

“As this case demonstrates, we are relentless in our pursuit against criminals and I hope that the sentences handed to this group provide reassurance to local residents and act as a warning to other offenders who are planning to come to Cheshire to commit crime.”

Charges of conspiracy to steal against against Stephen Strutt (39) Chester Avenue, Stalybridge, and Aaron Stubbs (30) Lane End Road, Manchester, will lie on file due to the pair’s conviction for the murder of Warren Glover in Merseyside.

The pair, and another man and a woman from Manchester were jailed for life last month after a doting dad, Mr Glover, 33, was hunted down and murdered.

Mr Glover was battered with a metal bar and found unconscious on a street in St Helens.

He died three weeks later in hospital.

Brother and sister Aaron and Melissa Stubbs received life sentences.

Both were convicted of 'joint enterprise' murder together with their friend, Stephen Strutt, and Strutt's brother-in-law, Peter Walker.

All four denied the charges they faced, but were found guilty by a jury after a trial.

Mr Glover had been in 'a short intense relationship' with Melissa Stubbs, but they separated in November, 2019, Liverpool Crown Court heard.

Mr Glover, it was said, started dating another woman at the start of 2020.