Four men who stole more than £1 million-worth of property in hour-long burglary spree jailed for 65 years
PUBLISHED: 10:27 12 September 2016 | UPDATED: 10:27 12 September 2016
The men carried out an ‘extremely vicious’ series of burglaries
Four men who stole more than £1 million-worth of property during an hour-long burglary spree in Bexley and Bromley have been jailed for a total of 65 years.
Armed with samurai swords, knives and crowbars, and driving two stolen mopeds, the four men forced their way into homes in the boroughs on the morning of June 19, 2015.
They carried out six aggravated burglaries in Barton Road, Sidcup and further addresses in St Georges Road, Bromley; Greenways, Beckenham; Hayes Way, Beckenham; Edward Road, Bromley and Camden Park Road, Chislehurst.
Police stopped a minicab in Downham at around 11am, arresting two of the men, Deon Onyeneke and Kevin Barnett, and subsequently recovering over £630,000 of stolen property, two mopeds and a number of weapons.
Another suspect, Alfie Whitten, was arrested on July 23, 2015, in Essex, having gone on the run for over a month.
Jason Murray-Pilgrim was identified as the fourth man involved in the burglaries and was produced from prison on Wednesday, February 17, where he was serving a sentence for an unrelated burglary.
Onyeke, 21, of Windlass Place, Lewisham, and Barnett, 25, of Woolstone Road, Forest Hill, were each sentenced to 14 years after pleading guilty to two counts of aggravated burglary on their first appearance at Croydon Crown Court on Wednesday, July 6.
Whitten, 27, of Lamerock Road, Downham, denied all involvement in the offences despite the stolen motorcycles, weapons and stolen property being discovered at his home address on June 19, 2015. He was charged and remanded in custody to attend Croydon Crown Court and subsequently pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Murray-Pilgrim, 33, of no fixed address, also denied all involvement in the offences.
The two men continued to deny the offences when they appeared at Croydon Crown Court for trial on Monday, July 4, but were found guilty of all charges by unanimous verdict on Friday, July 15.
Whitten was jailed for 19 years and Murray-Pilgrim for 18 years after they were each found guilty of two counts of aggravated burglary.
Detective sergeant Gary Head, from Bromley CID, said: “This was an extremely vicious and violent series of burglaries, where the heavily armed suspects have attacked, threatened and robbed the victims in their own homes.
“The speed of officers responding to the burglaries, coupled with the expertise of those involved in the investigation, ensured that all those responsible were apprehended and put before the courts.
“The sentences imposed clearly reflect the extremely serious nature of the offences and send out a message to those involved in this type of criminality that you will be arrested and held to account for your actions.”