Members of an organised crime gang which committed more than 200 burglaries in an 11-month crime spree have been jailed for a total of 71 years.
The gang, who raided homes and businesses across the region, including nearly 100 in Cambridgeshire, costing victims more than £2 million pounds, were convicted earlier in the 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 Cambridgeshire, were also targeted. Norfolk suffered a similar number of burglaries to Cambridgeshire while other offences took place in Suffolk, Essex and Bedfordshire.
Yesterday, Thursday December 7, they were sentenced at Norwich Crown Court by Judge Stephen Holt who described the conspiracy as the most serious he had ever encountered and praised the police approach in tackling the gang.
Nine of the gang pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit burglary:
* 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.
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.
Detective Inspector Craig Harrison, who led the investigation, said: “These sentences reflect the scale and impact of this gang’s offending.
“Every one of their crimes had a victim so the trauma and devastation caused in quite a short space of time was immense. They clearly had no care at all for the impact their offending was having on communities, particularly in south and east Cambridgeshire, which were particularly badly hit, and, indeed, across the region.”
DI Harrison formed a team dedicated to the burglary series after police began linking offences in the East Cambs area in the spring of last year.
High performance vehicles were being stolen, had their identities changed and were then later used in further crimes.
Some vehicles were never found and were disposed of through garages, or ‘chop shop’ premises, including one in Algores Way Wisbech, where they were cut up for parts with a view to selling on or export.
The gang 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.
Offences were committed across Cambridgeshire including Littleport, Wisbech, Fordham, Burwell, Prickwillow, Dullingham, Ely, Waterbeach, Soham, Abington, Cambridge, Chippenham, Little Shelford, Isleham, Sawston, Hardwick, Willingham, March, Histon, Swavesey, Longstanton, Little Downham, Stow cum Quay, Doddington, St Ives, Stretham, Chippenham, Balsham, Cottenham, Cheveley, Elsworth, Swaffham Bulbeck, Fulbourn, Newmarket, Teversham, Boxworth, Yaxley and Friday Bridge.
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.
The court heard the men were involved in the disposal of jewellery between 12 March and 7 November, 2017.
Pateman was jailed for three-and-a-half years and Brown eight years.
Simon Oakley, 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.