Members of a brazen traveller gang which carried out a £2million crime spree targeting people’s homes and businesses have been jailed for a total of 71 years.
The gang committed more than 200 burglaries between February and December last year across Suffolk, Essex and Bedfordshire.
They would don forensic suits in a bid to outwit police and were so prolific that in one day in July last year they committed seven burglaries, eight the next, and a total of 50 for the whole month.
After one spree, police found seven stolen Labrador puppies and an arsenal of deadly weapons on their traveller site.
Joe John Spencer Loveridge (left) was jailed for four years while John Eli Loveridge, 42, (right) was jailed for seven-and-a-half years
In one attempted robbery at a Co-op in Burwell, Cambridgeshire, last year, a gang member drove a stolen red Audi TTRS through a railway crossing to escape police
When the car was later recovered at a nearby travellers’ site, officers found items from eight separate burglaries and a firearm
Officers also discovered seven stolen puppies in the Audi TTRS along with the firearm and tools
The criminals, all from the traveller community, would smash or force open doors and windows of businesses and homes in broad daylight to commit their robberies.
They would steal high-powered BMWs and Audis, firearms, cash and jewellery, all of which they could dispose of through contacts.
In one attempted robbery at a Co-op in Burwell, Cambridgeshire, last year, a gang member drove a stolen red Audi TTRS through a railway crossing at Lakenheath, Suffolk in a bid to get away from police.
When the car was later recovered at a nearby travellers’ site, officers found items from eight separate burglaries, a firearm and seven stolen puppies.
The gang put false plates on stolen vehicles and left them in residential parking areas before using them to commit further crimes.
The damage at a BP garage in Littleport in December 2017 after a raid from the gang
The gang also targeted ATMs as well as home and businesses all over Cambridgeshire and the surrounding areas – using a digger to carry out one raid
Yesterday they were sentenced at Norwich Crown Court by Judge Stephen Holt, who described the conspiracy as ‘the most serious he had ever encountered’.
Nine of the gang had previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit burglary.
- Charlie Albert Webb, 20, from Newton Flotman, Norfolk was jailed for five years.
- John Eli Loveridge, 42, of Carleton Rode, Norfolk was jailed for seven-and-a-half years.
- John Stanley Loveridge, 23, of Carleton Rode, Norfolk was jailed for six-and-a-half years.
- Joseph Holmes, 21, of Willingham, Cambs, was jailed for four years.
- Danny Stone-Parker, 28, of Great Dunmow, Essex was jailed for six-and-a-half years.
- Timothy Stone-Parker, 24, of Ely, Cambridgeshire, was jailed for six-and-a-half years.
- Joe John Spencer Loveridge, 19, of Sandy, Bedfordshire, was jailed for four years.
- Richard Oakley, 27, of Beck Row, Suffolk was jailed for five years.
- Johnny Oakley, 25, of Beck Row, Suffolk was jailed for five-and-a-half years.
- Simon Oakley, 45, of Hempnall, Norfolk was found guilty of conspiracy to burgle in October and was jailed for nine years.
Two other men – James Pateman, 55, of no fixed abode, and his brother, Thomas Brown, 54, of Cambridge – were also found guilty of handling stolen goods in October following a trial at Norwich Crown Court.
Pateman was jailed for three-and-a-half years, and Brown for eight years.
Timothy Stone-Parker (left) was jailed for six-and-a-half years while Stanley Loveridge (right) was jailed for six-and-a-half years
Some vehicles were never found and were disposed of through ‘chop shop’ premises where they were dismantled for sale or export.
Most of the raids were on homes but commercial premises and ATMs were also targeted.
The court heard the men were also involved in the disposal of jewellery between March and November last year.
Norfolk suffered almost 100 of the raids, with Cambridgeshire seeing a similar number. Other offences took place in Suffolk, Essex and Bedfordshire.
Joseph Holmes, left, was jailed for four years and Charlie Albert Webb was jailed for five years
Another dog stolen by the gang was recovered by the Cambridgeshire police
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.’