Four men sentenced after burglary conspiracy across Hampshire and five other counties
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Four men who were part of conspiracy to commit burglary across Hampshire, Surrey, Dorset, Avon & Somerset, Sussex and Wiltshire have today (2 August) been convicted and sentenced for their crimes.
Appearing at Southampton Crown Court, it was heard that the group would travel in convoy – in a variety of vehicles – often utilising private hire vehicles or stolen vehicles on cloned plates to drive to various locations within Hampshire and in other nearby counties.
The large-scale conspiracy – which targeted businesses with high-value stock such as supermarkets, bicycle stores, mobile phone stores and clothing stores – took place over the course of a two-month period between October 2020 and December 2020.
As part of the investigation, a total of 16 burglaries were uncovered that had been committed in Hampshire. Three burglaries occurred in Surrey, three burglaries in Dorset, two burglaries in Avon & Somerset, one burglary in Sussex and one burglary in Wiltshire.
The overall value of goods stolen and loss to businesses in terms of damage caused totalled nearly £420,000.
Further enquires by investigators also recovered a number of stolen vehicles which were used as part of the burglary conspiracy to commit the offences.
Four men had previously pleaded guilty to conspiring to burgle at various hearings at Southampton Crown Court between November 2022 and April 2023; they are:
• Bleu Alford, 32, of Lower Canal Walk, Southampton. He was jailed for two years and eight months.
• Callum Robert Raymond Knox, 36, of Minstead Avenue, Southampton. He was jailed for two years and four months.
• Leroy Glen Dashwood, 32, of Chiltern Green, Southampton. He was sentenced to two years imprisonment but suspended for 18 months. Dashwood was also ordered to complete 20 sessions of a rehabilitation course and undertake 200 hours of unpaid work.
• Damian Lee Smith, 42, of Bullar Road, Southampton. He was sentenced to 20 months imprisonment, suspended for 18 months. Smith was also ordered to complete 35 sessions of a rehabilitation courts and undertake 180 hours of unpaid work.
While three other men had previously been sentenced for their part in the conspiracy during a hearing at Southampton Crown Court on Tuesday 27 June.
In Hampshire, the premises targeted included:
• Tesco Express, Winchester Street, Whitchurch on November 5, 2020. Approximately £10,000 in cash was stolen from till cash boxes.
• Tesco Express, Spring Road, Southampton on November 5, 2020. £840 was stolen from tills and considerable damage caused to front shutters and behind the shop counter.
• Botley MTB, High Street, Botley on November 13, 2020. A number of high-value electric bikes were stolen, worth approximately £30,000 in total.
• HSS Hire, Third Avenue, Southampton on November 13, 2020. A heavy duty chain had been stolen from the premises.
• Tesco Express, The Square, Pennington on November 15, 2020. Approximately £5,000 in cash was stolen from till cash boxes.
• Hollygrove Farm, Upper Northam Drive, Hedge End on November 18, 2020. Three vehicles – a Ford Fiesta, a BMW 3-series and a Vauxhall Combo - were stolen alongside a number of tools. The Ford and BMW were later recovered by police.
• Go Outdoors, Third Avenue, Southampton on November 19, 2020. A number of high-value jackets – worth approximately £20,000 - were stolen.
• Sainsburys, Leigh Road, Eastleigh on November 20, 2020. Entry not gained and nothing stolen, but considerable damage caused to door roller.
• Evans Cycles, Solent Road, Havant on November 25, 2020. A large quantity of bicycles – 27 in total - were stolen from the premises worth approximately £74,000.
• Tesco Express, Lordswood Road, Southampton on November 30, 2020. Approximately £8,000 in cash was stolen from till cash boxes.
• Tesco Express, West End Road, Southampton on November 30, 2020. Approximately £600 in cash was stolen from till cash boxes.
• Hampshire Trailers & Roof Rack Centre, Millbrook Road West, Southampton on December 5, 2020. Six vehicles – a Ford Escort, a Mini Cooper, a Saab, a Volkswagen Crafter, a Mercedes Vito and a Suzuki motorbike - were stolen. All six vehicles were later recovered by police.
• Co-Op, Monksbrook Filling Station, Passfield Avenue, Eastleigh on March 12, 2021. Attempt to gain entry to the store via electronic shutters causing £127 worth of damage.
• Co-Op, Bridge Road, Woolston, Southampton on March 12, 2021. Attempt to gain entry to the store via electronic shutters causing £125 worth of damage.
• Co-Op, Lower Northam Road, Hedge End on March 12, 2021. £80 in cash stolen but £8,000 worth of damage caused to shutters/doors and equipment.
• Co-Op, Botley Road, North Baddesley on March 12, 2021. £950 in cash stolen but £8,200 worth of damage caused to shutters/doors and equipment.
Detective Constable Paul Beasley, who led the investigation, said: “Today’s ruling has brought to a close a difficult investigation which not only impacted residents and business owners in Hampshire and Isle of Wight – but across a number of neighbouring counties.
“The group simply believed that they were above the law and would not get caught. Greed got the better of them and justice has now been served with all nine men receiving sanctions as a result of our their actions.
“We conducted a fully-through and robust investigation – and today’s result is down to the sheer dedication of my officers, but also the efforts of our investigative counterparts at Surrey Police, Dorset Police, Avon & Somerset Police, Sussex Police and Wiltshire Police.
“We have taken a very well planned, thought-out operation and got them off the streets and behind bars; where they will now spend a significant period of time for their troubles. Our collective actions have dismantled a very dangerous organised criminal gang and for that – I am incredibly thankful to all those involved in getting us to this stage.
“This is a great example of Hampshire & Isle of Wight Constabulary’s priority to drive a focus on excellent local policing and ensuring that victims are put first and prioritised throughout our investigations.
“We have been able to achieve just that - allowing for justice to be served and for those businesses impacted to see that we will always seek to robustly deal with those who are causing the most harm in our local communities and further afield.”