Dozens of owners reunited with property stolen by burglary gang who hit Peterborough homes

The gang would steal weapons and high powered cars, as well as jewellery
The gang would steal weapons and high powered cars, as well as jewellery

Detectives who nailed a £2m burglary gang who targeted Peterborough homes have managed to reunite over 100 owners with valuable items the gang stole during an 11-month crime spree.

The 12 members of the extended-family gang have been jailed for a total of 71 years for raiding up to 250 properties across five counties.

Rolex watches, diamond rings and coins are among “thousands of items” police are trying to reunite with their owners.

Police said 19 people have been reunited with their property so far.

However, they admitted that “eventually we will need to sell items that aren’t claimed”.

The robberies were in homes across Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk.

The men, aged 20 to 55, were jailed for a total of 71 years at Norwich Crown Court last month and police are now hoping to return the items to their rightful owners.

Sentencing the thieves, Judge Stephen Holt said: “I don’t think I’ve ever come across as serious a conspiracy to burgle in terms of the sheer amounts stolen, the number of properties broken into and most importantly the lives left devastated by people having their homes invaded and damaged by you.”

After they were sentenced, Cambridgeshire Police released images of the items recovered and published them on its website.

But Det Con Susan Burberry said there were likely to have been more as she claimed the gang melted items down in order to sell the metal.

Since appealing for owners to come forward at the beginning of the month, police have received 116 inquiries.

One person has been reunited with their property and they hoping to return goods to eight others.

Property was returned to a further 18 people earlier in the investigation.

Det Con Burberry said: “We want to keep the appeal going for as long as possible in order to identify as many owners as we can.”

To see the stolen items, visit www.flickr.com/photos/ophawksbury/

The gang, who raided homes and businesses across the region, including nearly 100 in Cambridgeshire, costing victims more than £2 million pounds, were convicted last year.

In a spree between February and December last year, gang members would mask their faces using balaclavas and smash or force open doors or windows in broad daylight.

They would steal specific items, mainly high-powered BMWs and Audis, firearms, cash and jewellery, all of which they could dispose of through contacts.

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

Most were raids on homes, although commercial premises and ATMs, including several in East Cambs, were also targeted. Norfolk suffered a similar number of burglaries to Cambridgeshire while other offences took place in Suffolk, Essex and Bedfordshire.

The gang members were:

* Charlie Albert Webb, 20, from Newton Flotman, Norfolk – jailed for five years.

* John Eli Loveridge, 42, of Greenways, Carleton Rode, Norfolk – jailed for seven-and-a-half years.

* John Stanley Loveridge, 23, of Greenways, Carleton Rode, Norfolk – jailed for six-and-a-half years.

* Joseph Holmes, 21, of Schole Road, Willingham – jailed for four years.

* Danny Stone-Parker, 28, of Braintree Road, Great Dunmow – jailed for six-and-a-half years.

* Timothy Stone-Parker, 24, of Clay Way, Ely – jailed for six-and-a-half years.

* Joe John Spencer Loveridge, 19, of Winchester Road, Sandy, Bedfordshire – jailed for four years.

* Richard Oakley, 27, of Sandy Park, Beck Row, Suffolk – jailed for five years.

* Johnny Oakley, 25, of Sandy Park, Beck Row, Suffolk – jailed for five-and-a-half years.

They all pleaded guilty to conspiracy to burgle.

A tenth man, Simon Oakley, 45, of Alburgh Road, Hempnall, Norwich, was found guilty of conspiracy to burgle on 31 October following a trial. He was jailed for nine years.

Two other men - James Pateman, 55, of no fixed abode, and his brother, Thomas Brown, 54, of Fen Road, Chesterton, Cambridge - were also found guilty of handling stolen goods on 31 October following a trial at Norwich Crown Court.

Pateman was jailed for three-and-a-half years and Brown eight years.