A gang of burglars who deliberately targeted the homes of Asian families for their gold have been jailed for a total of 43 years and nine months.
The gang is estimated to have stolen over £100,000 worth of gold in 37 burglaries from the homes of Asian families across the UK, including the Welsh borders and the Midlands and caused “great concern to the Asian community” after targeting the elderly and vulnerable.
Police carried out surveillance on the gang before swooping in 2015.
Det Insp Lee Boycott, who helped lead Operation Analogue, said: “We began to develop a picture of the offending group we were dealing with and realised they were organised and sophisticated,”
“I believe the gang gathered information on the houses and the people they wish to target. They were not opportunist thieves, but planned meticulously what they did.
“It soon became apparent that overt and covert policing tactics would be required to catch them.”
The gang used stolen cars and charity shop clothing including Beatles wigs and used bleach to wash down crime scenes to avoid detection.
During the operation one of the gang members car was bugged and he was heard bragging that he had so much money he did not know what to do with it.
Among their victims were a couple who had already been going through a difficult time after suffering the loss of two daughters.
Dr Farookh Jishi, a retired surgeon in north-east Wales, said the burglaries had left people scared in their own homes.
“It has caused a lot of fear and apprehension,” he said.
“You know, just going out for a short time to pick children up from school and things, you don’t know what to expect when you get back home.
“People have stopped keeping jewellery at home and hire safe deposit boxes.
“Day-to-day life has changed.”
Judge Niclas Parry said he took into account that no violence had been using during the burglaries but the group had “caused great concern to the Asian community”.
He sentenced the gang to a total of 43 year and nine months.
- John Purcell, 24, admitted involvement is 13 burglaries where nine Asian families were targeted and was jailed for five years
- Michael McGuire, 47, was involved in 22 burglaries. He had a previous conviction for conspiring to burgle and he was jailed for six and a half years
- Kevin Joseph McGuire, 34, was involved towards the end of the conspiracy, also received six and a half years
- John James Purcell, 29, involved in nine burglaries, received six years
- Stephen Berry, 18, was involved in 16 burglaries and received two years youth detention.
- Francis McGuire, 32, was involved in seven burglaries over two days, got five and a half years
- Miles Berry, 24, received five years
- Miles Delaney, 32, admitted two burglaries. He had previously been jailed for seven years for a burglary conspiracy and received five years
- Mark Bowen, 46, admitted handling stolen goods and money laundering. Described as a legitimate businessman, who was said to have bought a £55,000 yellow Lamborghini in a mid-life crisis, received a 27 month sentence