On Air Now
Early Breakfast with James Stewart 4am - 6:30am
19 June 2015, 05:42 | Updated: 19 June 2015, 06:26
A gang who stole nearly £1million worth of cars and property from homes across Cambridgeshire and the East of England have been jailed.
They were involved in 102 burglaries in Essex, Kent, Cambridgeshire, Suffolk, Hertfordshire, Norfolk, Enfield and Buckinghamshire between March 18 and September 29, 2014.
The property stolen amounted to £970,000 of which around £159,000 worth was recovered.
Items stolen included cars, money, computer equipment, electrical goods and jewellery, much of which was sold on.
In one case, jewellery worth a five figure sum was stolen from an address in Axial Drive, Colchester, in April 2014, in another two cars, cash and jewellery worth a five figure sum total were stolen from an address in Rectory Road, Orsett, and six burglaries were committed in one day in Cambridgeshire in March 2014.
Couple Luke Wall, 24, and mum-of-three Teresa Connors, 21, both of Leicester Road, Tilbury, pictured themselves staying in a luxury penthouse suite at a hotel in London's Docklands, showing off their ill-gotten gains.
The pair breached bail conditions in relation to burglary offences and went on the run last June.
After concerted police efforts, they were arrested in September last year but had continued to commit burglaries in the time they were on the run.
Wall, Connors, Kyle Shillingford, 27, of no fixed address, and Joseph Mahon, 20, of Fanshawe Road, Cambridge, (pictured) all admitted conspiracy to commit burglary.
Robert Butler, 31, of Lilliput Road, Romford, denied conspiracy to commit burglary but was convicted after a trial.
They were sentenced at Ipswich Crown Court today, Thursday June 18.
Wall, who judge JohnDevaux described as being the leader of the group, was jailed for eight years.
Butler was jailed for seven years, Mahon for 40 months and Connors for eight months.
Shillingford was jailed for 28 months.
The judge commented that all played a part in a significant conspiracy to burgle properties in a large geographical area where high value property was stolen and that they had all shown a significant degree of planning and sophistication.
Insp Paul Maleary, who at the time of the offencesbeing committed was the senior investigating officer in the case, said: "The investigation team brought about conspiracy evidence for more than 100 burglaries committed by different members of this group. I suspect that they probably committed many more.
"Wall in particular showed a blatant disregard for their victims' feelings as often sentimental items of jewellery were stolen that have not been recovered.
"He drove so dangerously on a number of occasions when police attempted to stop him and placed the police and the public in such danger that any pursuit was immediately cancelled on the grounds of public safety.
"The Essex Police western CID proactive team led the investigation and worked alongside colleagues from across the region including Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire police forces to bring about this prosecution and the Eastern Region Specialist Operations Unit took on the manhunt and arrest of this group due to the effect they were having on the residents of the whole Eastern region.
"There cannot be a better example of the benefits of forces working together and I congratulate all those officers and staff members that worked so diligently on this enquiry.
"In particular I commend the tenacity and professionalism of the Essex investigating officer, Dc Nicola Hadfield, Dc Paul Thornton from Cambridgeshire, and PaulScothern of the East of England CPS Complex Case Unit.
"Dwelling burglary is a priority crime for Essex Police and the imprisonment of these five individuals today can only have a positive effect on the residents of Essex and the Home Counties."
The offences were committed in:
CAMBRIDGESHIRE - Ditton, Cheveley, Melbourn,Fordham, Impington, Cambridge, Hilton, Barhill, Trumpington, Harston, Histon, Girton, Cottenham, Whittlesford, Hauxton, Thriplow, Milton, Cherry Hinton, Great Abington, Shepreth,Haslingfield
SUFFOLK - Newmarket, Barrow, Hengrave,Haughley Green, Old Newton, Kenton, Kentford, Culford, Little Saxham, West Bungay, Hoxne
ESSEX - Great Wigborough, Tiptree, Heybridge, Colchester, South Ockendon, Pilgrims Hatch, Rayleigh, Basildon, Shenfield, Harlow, Buckhurst Hill, Epping, Orsett, Laindon, Billericay, Wickford, Layer de la Haye, Grays.
HERTFORDSHIRE - Ware, Potters Bar, Welwyn, Royston, St Albans, Great Amwell, Northwood, Abbotts Langley, Watford, Cockernhoe,Goffs Oak, Cheshunt
NORFOLK - Woodton, Poringland
BUCKINGHAMSHIRE - Frieth
KENT - Sevenoaks