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21 January 2011, 09:16 | Updated: 21 January 2011, 09:29
Three men who carried out a string of burglaries by pretending to be police officers, have been jailed for a total of 15 years.
The trio from Berkshire conned their way into pensioners' homes to steal cash and jewellery. They targeted homes across ten counties, including in Hampshire. They carried out five burglaries in Winchester all on one day.
Three men were today (Thursday, 20th January) given jail sentences for a string of burglaries in which they targeted the elderly and the vulnerable.
Felix Rooney aged 22, of Kersey Crescent, Newbury, Thomas Reynolds, aged 26, also of Kersey Crescent, Newbury, and Michael Murphy, aged 19, of Josephine Court, Southcote Road, Reading, were arrested by officers from Hampshire Constabulary in June last year, following a complex investigation.
All three were jailed at Winchester Crown Court for conspiracy to commit burglary.
The lengthy investigation linked dozens of offences committed by these men across 10 different counties over a five-month period.
The three men specifically targeted the elderly and vulnerable, entering their houses, often claiming to be plain-clothed police officers and stealing valuables and cash.
Hampshire Constabulary's Serious and Organised Crime Unit (SOCU), working with other forces across England, led this investigation, ensuring that the full scale of the offenders' crimes were presented to the court.
Detective Inspector Adam Price, said: “Offences of this kind are rare in Hampshire and are treated extremely seriously. This result sends a clear message to potential offenders that this criminal behaviour will not be tolerated and that they will be caught and dealt with robustly.
"This was an enormous crime spree cynically targeting the elderly and vulnerable in our communities. I have no doubt that their arrests have prevented many hundreds more from being burgled by such cowardly offenders.”