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Revealed: The Norfolk towns and villages targeted by prolific burglary gang

PUBLISHED: 12:20 07 December 2018 | UPDATED: 13:10 07 December 2018

The nine men who have been found guilty of conspiracy to burgle. Picture: Cambridgeshire Police

The nine men who have been found guilty of conspiracy to burgle. Picture: Cambridgeshire Police

Archant

A gang which committed more than 200 burglaries across the eastern region over an 11-month period, carried out almost 100 of the raids in Norfolk.

Simon Oakley. PIC: Staff photographerSimon Oakley. PIC: Staff photographer

Twelve members of the gang have been jailed for a total of 71 years in prison after they “devastated” the lives of countless victims whose homes and businesses they targeted.

Most were raids on homes, although commercial premises, post offices and ATMs were also targeted in the spree which took place between February and December last year in Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Essex.

In Norfolk, 96 raids were carried out, with places hit including King’s Lynn, Stowbridge, Thetford, Watton, Mundford, Emneth, Norwich, Three Holes, Southery, Swaffham, North Walsham, Great Moulton, Shotesham All Saints, Dereham, Kenninghall, Easton, Weeting, Gooderstone, Fritton, Hempnall, Yaxham, Harleston, Welney, Attleborough, Wymondham, Feltwell, Downham Market, Wereham, East Harling, East Lexham, Mulbarton, Horsford and Diss.

The gang targeted homes in rural areas, where they could make easy getaways and stole high-performance vehicles to give themselves a better chance of out-running police.

Thomas Pateman. Picture: Staff photographerThomas Pateman. Picture: Staff photographer

Three or four members of the gang would mask their faces and force their way into properties before stealing specific items, mainly high-powered BMWs and Audis, firearms, cash and jewellery, all of which they would dispose of through contacts.

Stolen vehicles were put on false plates and left in residential parking areas before being used to commit further crimes.

Another incident occurred across a number of counties whereby a tipper truck was stolen from a compound in Suffolk.

It was later used over a period of three days in further thefts of vehicles in Suffolk and then Norfolk.

James Pateman. Picture: Staff photographerJames Pateman. Picture: Staff photographer

In July last year a stolen red Audi TTRS was driven through a railway crossing at Lakenheath in a bid to get away from police and the driver of an oncoming train had to take emergency action to avoid a collision. The vehicle was later recovered at Beck Row in Suffolk.

In the car were items from eight separate burglaries, a firearm and seven puppies, which had also been stolen from a burglary in Norfolk and were later returned.

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