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4 September 2012, 12:46
A gang of burglars who brazenly stole a £50,000 racing car away from Bedfordshire's Santa Pod Raceway have been jailed for a total of more than 20 years.
In all, the eleven-strong gang - aged between 21 and 40 - stole a quarter of a million pounds' worth of expensive cars and motorbikes in a series of raids during 2011.
The investigation into the network was led by the Met Police's London Crime Squad, supported by officers from Thames Valley and Surrey Police. The eleven defendants had all pleaded guilty to committing a number of offences of burglary, theft and handling stolen goods between them.
The men came together from outlying areas of London to carry out their stealing spree over a five month period, targeting specialist motorbike stores and owners of luxury bikes and cars in upmarket residential areas of Berkshire, Middlesex and Surrey.
After stealing a £50,000 Subaru Impreza racing car from Bedfordshire's Santa Pod racetrack in June 2011, they called the owner threatening to destroy the car unless he handed over £5,000 in cash.
In total 16 motorbikes were stolen, of which police recovered nine.
Det Insp John Cracknell, from the Met Police London Crime Squad, said: "These sentences show that the MPS will actively target and pursue offenders committing burglary. It is an excellent result, and demonstrates our determination and commitment in identifying and bringing to justice those criminals that are responsible for these types of offences. The London Crime Squad will continue to disrupt criminal networks through intelligence-led policing operations."