COUNTY NEWS: Thieves jailed for burglaries across south coast

Police are appealing for witnesses
Police are appealing for witnesses

A gang of seven men who went on a crime spree across Sussex and other counties were sentenced at Southampton Crown Court.

Five of the men will now spend a combined total of nearly 16 years in jail for their involvement in the burglaries, which took place between October and December 2014.

This sends out a strong message to any would-be criminal that if you commit crime you can expect to be caught and brought to justice

Superintendent Alison Heydari

During a ten-week period the group committed 18 burglaries and other crimes in Sussex, Hampshire, Dorset and Wiltshire, stealing property worth at least £220,000.

The men had pleaded guilty to conspiracy to steal at earlier hearings.

Four of the offences took place in Sussex – two in Eastbourne, one in Hastings and one in Bognor Regis.

Nothing was taken at the burglary at Cheque Exchange in High Street, Bognor Regis, but watches worth £10,000 were stolen from Ernest Jones in Eastbourne.

There was an attempted burglary at Pandora Jewellers in Priory Meadow, Hastings, and a burglary at Arndale Centre in Eastboune, Sussex where nothing was taken.

The group would commit burglaries in homes and lower value thefts in Hampshire before travelling to surrounding counties to target high value jewellers and specialist camera stores.

James John Moncrieff Poole, 22, from Baker Way in Rye, East Sussex, was sentenced to 4 years 8 months in jail for his part in the spate of thefts.

Speaking after the sentencing, Southampton District Commander, Superintendent Alison Heydari said: “This sends out a strong message to any would-be criminal that if you commit crime you can expect to be caught and brought to justice.

“We would urge people to phone us whenever they see or hear anything suspicious. Working together we can continue to prevent and solve more crime.”