Monday 22 April 2024
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Burglars jailed for 19 years for cross-border crime spree

Professional cross-border criminals who carried out a spree of house burglaries in rural communities have been locked up for a combined 19 years.

David Allen and Scott Shakeshaft were part of a team which targeted affluent homes, including in the Worksop and Carlton-in-Lindrick areas of Nottinghamshire, during a ‘planned and prolonged’ burglary campaign spanning 25 offences.

Around £146,000 worth of property – including £73,000 of jewellery, a car worth over £40,000, and £33,000 in cash – were stolen during a series of high-value burglaries between 1 December 2021 and 13 October 2022.

Allen, aged 32, was linked to 16 of the 25 offences as an active member of the burglary team.

Shakeshaft, aged 38, was linked to 19 of the burglaries. His role in the team was to drive others to the locations where burglaries were committed.

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The pair were also linked to other burglaries in the Dronfield area of Derbyshire, which occurred in January and February 2022, and similar offences in the South Yorkshire area.

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Their downfall came as a result of an extensive and complex police investigation spearheaded by Nottinghamshire Police Detective Constable Bobby Garrow.

Shakeshaft and Allen, both of Sheffield, pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit burglary and appeared at Nottingham Crown Court for sentencing on Friday (16 February 2024).

They were each jailed for nine-and-a-half years.

Of the homes targeted during the burglary series, 14 were in the Worksop and Carlton-in-Lindrick areas, and took place between 21 February 2022 and 2 September 2022.

Most of the break-ins happened on the Water Meadows Estate in Worksop.

One victim returned home from holiday to find his Landrover Discovery had been stolen from the driveway and rooms in his house, along with his loft and garage, had been searched.

In the majority of cases, the homes broken into were unoccupied, with the victims being away or on holiday.

However, other properties targeted by the burglars were occupied, with the offenders only leaving after being disturbed by terrified occupants.

Many victims returned home to find their properties had been ransacked. Tens of thousands of pounds in cash were pilfered during the crime spree, along with a large amount of jewellery and sentimental items, including family heirlooms.

The court heard that the burglary team carried out their planned raids mostly at night – sometimes targeting multiple homes in the same street.

Prosecutor Jonathon Cox told how they were ‘scientifically and forensically aware’ in how they committed the burglaries night after night.

A third offender – 26-year-old Thomas Billard of Sheffield – pleaded guilty to theft of a Landrover Discovery, from an address in Worksop on 25 August 2022.

Although it was accepted he wasn’t part of the burglary team, the court heard how Billard’s fingerprints were found on cloned plates he had put on the high-value vehicle, the keys to which had been stolen two days before.

He was given a 12-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and ordered to complete 35 rehabilitation activity requirement days.

Nottinghamshire detectives carried out an extensive investigation to piece together the series of burglaries and identify those responsible.

This detailed work included house-to-house, CCTV and forensic inquiries, as well as analysis of phone call data.

Analysis of automatic number plate recognition cameras (ANPR) also identified a Skoda Yeti was involved in offences. ANPR cameras picked up the car, driven by Shakeshaft, as it travelled from the Sheffield area into the Worksop area within the timeframes of offences.

Detective Constable Bobby Garrow, of Nottinghamshire Police’s county burglary team, was commended by the judge for his leading work in the case, with the overwhelming evidence leading to the convictions.

DC Garrow said: “This was a hugely challenging case with multiple offenders and offences across different force areas.

“Our complex investigation involved a number of proactive police teams, including the criminal investigation department (CID), county burglary team, digital multimedia evidence unit, intelligence analysts, and other units.

 

“We continue to work collaboratively with our colleagues in neighbouring forces to target criminals who use our road network and cross borders to commit crime.

“We want to deliver a clear message to those who travel to commit crime that we will use everything at our disposal and work with our policing colleagues to catch up with them and bring them to justice. There is simply no place for this type of criminality in Nottinghamshire and our fellow counties.

“I also want to reassure the public that we take reports of burglary extremely seriously, we will investigate reports meticulously, and we will continue to do everything we can to protect our communities and make life as hostile as possible for those who cause them harm.”

Inspector Hayley Crawford, District Commander for Bassetlaw, said: “Tackling and reducing serious acquisitive crime offences in the Bassetlaw district, such as burglary, robbery, and theft, is a current force priority.

“We understand these crimes can have a long‑lasting and profound impact on victims which is why we treat reports of this nature so seriously.

“My neighbourhood teams remain focussed on making our streets safer, including patrolling in hotspot areas, and cracking down on those individuals who commit these types of intrusive and impactful crimes.

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“We have thrown a lot of resources into tackling and reducing burglary, which has been a priority for the area over the last six months, and the force’s specialist roads policing unit and road crime team have been deployed a lot more in our area to help tackle serious acquisitive crime offending and cross-border criminals using the road network. 

“Increased patrols and tactics used by our roads policing unit and road crime team have meant we’ve been able to pursue more vehicles suspected of being involved in criminality.

“It has also enabled officers to be in the right places at the right times to prevent and detect crime, as well as carrying out effective enforcement operations which remain ongoing.”

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