8 Sentenced Following Car Key Burglaries

Eight men have now been sentenced following a protracted investigation into the conspiracy to commit 'car key' burglaries across Hertfordshire, London and Essex.

Car key burglaries are where offenders commit burglary to steal car keys and subsequently steal the vehicle. Coinciding with the investigation was a drop in 'car key' burglaries by 67% in some areas of Hertfordshire between April - May 2010.

The investigation, which was called Operation Bath, was led by the Herts' Specialist Investigation Team and involved officers and staff from across the Constabulary, the Met and Essex police. It covered 55 dwelling burglaries committed in Hertfordshire and Essex and revealed the group would target addresses and steal cars to order.

Six men were charged with conspiracy to burgle and handle stolen goods.  Such was the weight of evidence that they all pleaded guilty and were therefore convicted of all charges at St Albans Crown Court in June this year.

The last sentence for the investigation was handed down to Oliver Darcy at St Albans Crown Court on July 25. Those sentenced comprise:

  • Oliver Darcy, aged 22 of New Kent Road, St Albans was sentenced to the Choices  and Consequences (C2) programme, which is an award-winning scheme pioneered in  Hertfordshire aimed at diverting offenders away from their life of crime and  rehabilitating them through community sentences with strict conditions.
  • Danny Berkeley, 24 of High Street, Waltham Cross was sentenced to the C2 programme and a Curfew Order.
  • Renell Johnson, 18 from Breeze Terrace, Cheshunt was sentenced to 39 weeks imprisonment suspended for 12 months.
  • Calvin McKenzie, 30, with a last known address at Tomswood Hill, Ilford was sentenced to 27 months imprisonment.
  • Jimmy Perry, 19 from Third Avenue, Enfield was sentenced to 39 weeks imprisonment suspended for 12 months, with a curfew between 9pm and 7am.
  • Aaron Perry, 20 from Leven Drive, Waltham Cross was given 12 months imprisonment suspended for 18 months.
  • Daniel McEnaney, 21, from High Street, Waltham Cross and George Goddard, 19, from Garner Drive, Broxbourne were given Community Orders.

Detective Chief Inspector Jon Humphries commented: "This has been an extensive investigation to take out a prolific, organised team of criminals who were targeting communities in Hertfordshire and beyond.

"It was the first significant and complex investigation undertaken by the Specialist Investigation Team, which was formed by using some of the most experienced detectives we have back in April last year, and shows just how effective the new look Local Policing Command has become."

Jon continued: "This operation has been pivotal in reducing offences of dwelling burglary in Hertfordshire, particularly in East Herts and Broxbourne, and has undoubtedly helped to improve the safety of the local community. I'm grateful to all those involved for their hard work in bringing these offenders to justice."

The sentencing comes as the Constabulary's Operation Scorpion, Hertfordshire's new initiative to drive down acquisitive crime and tackle burglars, robbers and vehicle criminals marks its fifth month in operation

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