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OCG prosecuted for spree of commercial burglaries

22 June 2023

Following an eight-week trial at Croydon Crown Court, eight members of an organised crime group have been sentenced for their involvement in a spree of commercial burglaries across London. Prosecuted by Charlotte Hole and Sam Willis, the group targeted bookmakers and other shops, typically breaking in during the night using sledgehammers. In total they carried out 12 burglaries of commercial premises, and a robbery at a cash and carry, over a period of 4 years. They stole tens of thousands of pounds in cash, and caused hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of damage to buildings, security systems, and businesses. The robbery involved a staff member of the cash and carry being assaulted and then bound hand and foot with cable ties whilst others sought to enter the building.

Ladders and tools were used to scale walls and breach roofs or walls of premises to gain access to the area where a safe was located. They then either removed or broke into the safe to steal cash, using hand tools and angle grinders. CCTV cameras were destroyed or blacked out, or the hard drives removed altogether as forensic countermeasures, and alarm systems were destroyed or the cables and power supply were cut, in an attempt to avoid detection.

Investigated by the Flying Squad, the evidence against the eight defendants included CCTV, covert surveillance, forensics, mobile telephone downloads, and cell site mapping.

Charlotte and Sam were instructed by the CPS Complex Casework Unit.