THE HUNT for burglars who had raided more than 50 homes led police to West Yorkshire, where three of the gang were arrested.

As the gang was jailed for a combined total of 48 years, a court heard that £300,000 in cash and jewellery had been stolen during the raids.

The four thieves struck at properties across Birmingham, Sandwell, Solihull and Walsall between November last year and January.

The masked gang would target addresses and force their way inside either by smashing windows or forcing open locked gates and doors.

Shocking CCTV shows the gang raiding mostly empty properties. In one clip two of the crooks remove a bay window while traffic passes yards away.

In another security video, the gang break into a home where a woman was in at the time.

Footage shows the woman screaming in terror before the crooks flee empty handed.

The gang were finally caught after detectives scoured hours of CCTV which captured them using two getaway cars, an Audi R3 and a VW Golf, on false plates.

Jason MacDonaugh, 32, was identified as the buyer and seller of the Audi.

Cops were able to connect his associates to the crimes which also saw them strike near Bristol and Warwickshire.

Phone records also linked the gang to the location of the burglaries.

Police also identified fellow gang members Darren O'Halloran, 38, and Barney Casey, 22, to West Yorkshire, where they were arrested on an industrial estate just outside Wakefield in early February.

The fourth member of the gang, Daniel Harty, 32, was arrested in Wales later the same month.

The four, who were originally from Ireland, were convicted of conspiracy to burgle following a trial.

They were jailed for a total of almost 50 years at Birmingham Crown Court today (Mon).

MacDonaugh was jailed for 13-and-a-half years while O'Halloran and Harty were both caged for 12 years each. Casey was jailed for ten-a-half-years.

Sergeant James Birtles, of West Midlands Police, said: "These four burglars have quite rightly lost their freedom for a long time.

"Their crime spree saw them target more than 50 homes across the West Midlands in just a few months.

"But following extensive enquiries, including working with the An Garda Síochána and other police forces, we managed to identify and link them to the series of break-ins.

"I'm convinced if we hadn't have caught them, they would have continued to carry out more burglaries, in the region and beyond.”