FOUR people who stole more than £300,000 of property in a string of burglaries have been jailed.
Over a four month period, the gang committed 34 burglaries across Wigan, St Helens, Bolton and North Cheshire, stealing cars and putting cloned or stolen number plates on them and breaking into houses and taking high-value items.
All four were jailed at Chester Crown Court, today, Monday, after pleading guilty at an earlier hearing.
Katie Gilsennan, 19, of Sutton Leach, St Helens, was jailed for three years and Simon Bosworth, 27, of Wyredale Avenue, St Helens, was handed five years and four months.
Kevin Andrews, 29, no fixed address, was jailed for six years and Kyle Andrews, 23, also of no fixed address, was jailed for five years and two months.
Between September and December 2014 officers from Greater Manchester and Cheshire police forces discovered a sudden increase of strikingly similar burglaries that were being committed across the North West.
Greater Manchester and Cheshire Police forces launched a joint investigation and in November 2014 Bosworth was arrested and the other three were arrested in December 2014.
All four were arrested on suspicion of burglary and remanded into custody.
The total value of the property stolen reached in excess of £320,000
Detective Sergeant Nigel Rigby of Wigan division said: “This was a joint operation between us and Cheshire police to put an end to the spate of burglaries being committed by this group.
“The levels of research attached to the locating and selection of suitable ‘cloned’ number plates displayed a high level of organised criminality.
“They showed no signs of stopping whatsoever and two families were devastated to discover last Christmas that their wrapped Christmas presents had been stolen from beneath the Christmas tree.
“Their motive was purely financial and their desire to acquire items of high value, ultimately lead to their downfall when some of these items were recovered upon their arrest.
“I hope today’s sentences shows the lengths we will go to, to stop organised criminals from blighting our communities and damaging people’s lives.”