Cameron Chivers, of Southampton, and Jesse Matthews, of Alderbury, pleaded guilty at Winchester Crown Court on July 9 to charges of conspiracy to steal and conspiracy to cause explosions likely to endanger life.
It relates to a five-month crime spree between August 2019 and January 2020. Cashzone in Headley was targeted on August 22, followed by Costcutter in Willow Way, Hale, three days later on August 25.
Speaking to the Herald after the Hale raid, Costcutter manager Rajadurai Sasitharan said he and his wife were woken in the middle of the night by a “big bang that sounded like a bomb”.
Other raids linked to the gang took place in Petersfield, Godalming, Southampton, Waterlooville, Fareham, Brockenhurst, Eastleigh and Bournemouth.
Chivers also admitted conspiracy to burgle, relating to three break-ins in Southampton, Hedge End and Farnborough.
Both Chivers and Matthews’ sentencing hearings have been adjourned pending the culmination of a connected trial after one of their co-defendants pleaded not guilty, with two more yet to enter pleas.