PUBLISHED: 09:14 02 November 2018 | UPDATED: 15:11 02 November 2018
An organised crime gang carried out more than 200 burglaries costing victims more than £2m in an 11-month crime spree.
The gang raided homes and businesses across East Anglia between February and December last year.
Ninety-six burglaries were carried out in Norfolk, across 33 towns and villages.
Often in broad daylight, three or four members would mask their faces and force open doors or windows with tools found at the scene.
They would steal specific items, mainly high-powered BMWs and Audis, firearms, cash and jewellery, all of which they could dispose of through contacts.
Most raids were on homes, although commercial premises, post offices and ATMs were also targeted.
Stolen vehicles were put on false plates and left in residential parking areas before being used to commit further crimes.
The gang was responsible for the ram raid and attempted ATM theft at Easton College 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 July 20, 2017, Jonny Oakley drove a stolen red Audi TTRS through a railway crossing at Lakenheath in a bid to get away from police.
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. They included 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.
The gang members
Nine of the gang, mostly family members, all pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit burglary at previous hearings.
• 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 March 12 and November 7, 2017, following a trial at Norwich Crown Court.
Three men convicted for handling stolen goods
Simon Oakley, of Alburgh Road, Hempnall, Norfolk, was also found guilty of conspiracy to burgle on Wednesday.
The 45-year-old, who owns Stratton Quick Fit, a garage and workshop at Elite Business Park, in Salamanca Road, Long Stratton, had previously admitted possession of a firearm without a certificate and handling stolen goods.
He provided false registration plates to the gang and directed others to commit crime. He helped to hide stolen vehicles and pass them off as legitimate.
James Pateman, 55, of no fixed abode, and his brother, Thomas Pateman, 54, of Fen Road, Chesterton, Cambridge, were also convicted on Wednesday for handling stolen goods.
The court heard the men were involved in the disposal of jewellery, some of which would be taken to Hatton Garden for direct sale.
The trauma caused to victims was “immense”
Det Insp Craig Harrison, who led the investigation, said: “Every one of those 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.”
Det Insp 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.”