Gang convicted of burglary conspiracy worth £418,000 across Hampshire and five other counties
Main article content
Three men who were part of an organised criminal gang involved in a conspiracy to commit burglary across Hampshire, Surrey, Dorset, Avon & Somerset, Sussex and Wiltshire have been sentenced for their crimes.
The large-scale conspiracy sought to target businesses including mobile phone stores, bicycle stores, supermarkets and clothing stores between October 2020 and December 2020.
At a hearing at Southampton Crown Court on Tuesday 27 June, they heard how the offenders would travel from Southampton using a number of different vehicles – including hire vehicles and stolen vehicles on cloned number plates – in a two-car convoy within Hampshire and neighbouring counties.
They would then target and gain entry to commercial properties; using a variety of tools to access the stores and commit the burglary offences.
A large number of vehicles were also stolen as part of the conspiracy and used in part to commit the offences.
The conspiracy to burgle charges relate to 26 burglaries which totalled value of goods stolen and damage caused at £418,000.
• Mark Stephen Brady, 31, of Laundry Road, Southampton. He was jailed for two years and four months; to be served consecutively with a four-year sentence for a burglary in June 2021, for which he was jailed in September 2021.
• Connor Steven Hampton, 24, of Tunstall Road, Southampton. He was jailed for three years; to be served concurrently with an 18-month sentence for other conspiracy to burgle offences in the Surrey area – sentenced to four and a half years in total.
• Liam Michael Grundy, 34, of Matheson Road, Southampton. He was given a 21 month prison sentenced, suspended for 18 months and ordered to complete 180 hours unpaid work
Five other men had previously pleaded guilty to conspiring to burgle at various hearings at Southampton Crown Court between November 2022 and April 2023. While a further man was found guilty on Wednesday 10 May by a jury of conspiracy to commit burglary following a short trial at Southampton Crown Court.
They are due to be sentenced in a separate hearing at Southampton Crown Court on Wednesday 2 August.
A total of 16 burglaries were committed in Hampshire, three burglaries in Surrey, three burglaries in Dorset, two burglaries in Avon & Somerset, one burglary in Sussex and one burglary in Wiltshire.
Detective Constable Paul Beasley, who led the investigation, said: “This was a complex, multi-faceted investigation spanning across Hampshire and five other counties - but today justice has finally been served.
“These men gave no thought for the impact that their actions were having on their victims; as such was their determination in targeting local businesses across different counties over a short period of time for their own personal greed.
“Thankfully, through sheer dedication, and joint partnership working with our investigation counterparts at Surrey Police, Dorset Police, Avon & Somerset Police, Sussex Police and Wiltshire Police, we were able to bring a compelling case against these nine men in court; with eight pleading guilty to the offences and one being found guilty via a jury.
“I must commend the efforts of all those involved in this comprehensive, complex investigation in securing today’s result.
"The group believed that they would not get caught and that they would continue to commit their spree of offending; but let this serve as a warning. You will be found, you will be stopped and we will bring you before the courts to see justice served."
Detective Constable, Peter Coe, who led the investigation from Surrey Police, said: “Today’s result is a direct outcome of great partnership working.
“This complex investigation has seen six forces work collaboratively resulting in three men being bought to justice thanks to the dedicated work of all those involved.”
Hampton was also arrested on 28 June 2022 in Southampton after being caught on CCTV near the scene of a burglary where a high value bike was stolen in Godalming. Further investigation connected him to a further 38 burglaries of high value bikes in the Waverley area including Godalming, Haslemere and Hindhead which occurred between January and June last year.
The West Surrey Proactive Investigation Team worked hard to gather the evidence needed to charge Hampton. He was charged with conspiracy to commit burglary non-dwelling with intent to steal between 4 January 2022 and 28 June 2022.
PC Kat Sandys, who was part of the investigation team, said: “Yesterday’s result has seen a prolific offender brought to justice.
“The team worked extremely hard to review CCTV footage, gather witness statements and work through ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) data to investigate these offences.
“We hope that today’s result has demonstrated to our local community that we do take these offences seriously and they are investigated thoroughly and the fact that the offender is now behind bars provides them with some reassurance.”