East of England burglary gang convicted

2 November 2018, 08:26 | Updated: 2 November 2018, 08:30

judge

A criminal gang who were responsible for almost 100 burglaries in Norfolk have been convicted.

The gang committed more than 200 burglaries across the eastern region, including 96 burglaries in Norfolk, between February and December 2017.

Most were raids on homes, although commercial premises, post offices and ATMs were also targeted.

Cambridgeshire also suffered a similar number of burglaries to Norfolk while other offences took place in Suffolk, Essex and Bedfordshire.

Three or four members of the gang would mask their faces and force their way into properties before stealing specific items, mainly high-powered BMWs and Audis, firearms, cash and jewellery, all of which they would dispose of through contacts.

Stolen vehicles were put on false plates and left in residential parking areas before being used to commit further crimes.

Offences were committed across Norfolk including in King’s Lynn, Stowbridge, Thetford, Watton,  Mundford, Emneth, Norwich, Three Holes, Southery, Swaffham, North Walsham, Great Moulton, Shotesham All Saints, Dereham, Kenninghall, Easton, Weeting, Gooderstone, Fritton, Hempnall, Yaxham, Harleston, Welney, Attleborough, Wymondham, Feltwell, Downham Market, Wereham, East Harling, East Lexham, Mulbarton, Horsford and Diss.

The gang were responsible for the Ram Raid and Attempted ATM theft at Easton College, Norfolk which happened in March 2017.

They also targeted homes in rural areas, where they could make easy getaways and stole high-performance vehicles to give themselves a better chance of out-running police.

In one incident in Norfolk, a victim who had lost her husband and suffers from dementia had her husband’s medals stolen.

Another incident occurred across a number of counties whereby a tipper truck was stolen from a compound in Suffolk. It was later used over a period of three days in further thefts of vehicles in Suffolk and then Norfolk.

On Thursday 20 July 2017, Jonny Oakley drove a stolen red Audi TTRS through a railway crossing at Lakenheath in a bid to get away from police and the driver of an oncoming train had to take emergency action to avoid a collision. The vehicle was later recovered at Beck Row in Suffolk. In the car were items from eight separate burglaries, a firearm and seven puppies, which had also been stolen from a burglary in Norfolk and were later returned to their owner. The Audi was used for a total of 28 burglaries in Norfolk.

Nine of the gang, mostly family members, all pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit burglary at previous hearings.

They are:

  • Charlie Albert Webb, 20, from Newton Flotman, Norfolk.
  • John Eli Loveridge, 42, of Greenways, Carleton Rode, Norfolk.
  • John Stanley Loveridge, 23, of Greenways, Carleton Rode, Norfolk.
  • Joseph Holmes, 21, of Schole Road, Willingham.
  • Danny Stone-Parker, 28, of Braintree Road, Great Dunmow.
  • Timothy Stone-Parker, 24, of Clay Way, Ely.
  • Joe John Spencer Loveridge, 19, of Winchester Road, Sandy, Bedfordshire.
  • Richard Oakley, 27, of Sandy Park, Beck Row, Suffolk.
  • Johnny Oakley, 25, of Sandy Park, Beck Row, Suffolk.

The gang will be sentenced at a later date, along with three other men who have been found guilty of handling stolen goods between 12 March and 7 November, 2017, following a trial at Norwich Crown Court.

James Pateman, 55, of no fixed abode, and his brother, Thomas Brown, 54, of Fen Road, Chesterton, Cambridge, were convicted on Wednesday 31 October. The court heard the men were involved in the disposal of jewellery, some of which would be taken to Hatton Garden for direct sale.

Simon Oakley of Alburgh Road, Hempnall, Norwich, was found guilty of conspiracy to burgle on Wednesday 31 October.

The 45 year old, who owns Stratton Quick Fit, a garage and workshop at Elite Business Park, in Salamanca Road, Norwich, had previously admitted possession of a firearm without a certificate and handling stolen goods. He provided false registration plates and directed others to commit crime. He helped to hide stolen vehicles and pass them off as legitimate.

Detective Inspector Mick Roxby said: "This gang were responsible for an unprecedented number of burglaries across our county and had no regard for the people they targeted in such a ruthless way. 

"We have worked closely with our colleagues in Cambridgeshire and Suffolk, sharing information and intelligence in order to prosecute these criminals and prevent them from committing further offences. 

"Thankfully we managed to recover the stolen items in many of these cases; however, you cannot put a price on the emotional impact these crimes have had on the victims. 

"I hope these convictions provide reassurance that we are committed to investigate and solving burglary offences in Norfolk.”