Two Northampton men part of a gang of ‘professional burglars’ have been given long sentences after being convicted of a string of burglaries in Northamptonshire, Cambridgeshire, Lincolnshire, Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire.
Clint Walters, 28, and Otis Barrett, 19, both from Northampton, pleaded guilty and were sentenced at Northampton Crown Court last week.
Walters was given a sentence of four years and eight months, and Barrett three years and four months.
A third man, aged 21, also from Northampton, has been charged and remanded and will appear at Northampton Crown Court tomorrow (Wednesday).
An extensive cross-border investigation led by Northamptonshire Police uncovered a highly sophisticated team of burglars operating across five forces. The team targeted victims’ homes while they slept, stole car keys and drove took the vehicles from their drives.
The gang then used the stolen cars to commit commercial burglaries, targeting mobile phone shops as well as convenience stores, stealing large quantities of cigarettes.
Last December, Northamptonshire Police recovered £6,000 worth of cigarettes and an Audi A3, both of which had been stolen the night before.
The gang was responsible for a total of nine residential burglaries, 19 commercial burglaries and four car thefts. This resulted in £170,000 worth of vehicles being stolen and £56,000 worth of cigarettes.
Detective Constable Alex Curlett of the force’s organised crime and drugs team, said: “Walters and Barrett were part of a highly sophisticated gang of professional burglars.
“Between August and December 2013, the team was responsible for 32 separate offences.
“The impact burglary has on victims cannot be underestimated and we will go to exhaustive lengths to bring serious and organised criminals to justice.”