Two burglars who were responsible for 61 offences across the country, including in Copthorne, have been jailed.
Patrick Joseph Connors, 23, of Goldcrest Court in Northampton and Miles Luke Connors, 18, of Celeborn Place in Northampton, were sentenced to four years and two years respectively at Guildford Crown Court today (8 June) for their involvement in a series of burglaries across the south of England and the Midlands, spanning 15 counties, Surrey Police confirmed.
The burglaries in Copthorne took place on Sunday, February 4.
Two properties were targeted in Westway and two were targeted in Calluna Drive, said police.
Officers worked with colleagues across a number of forces to crack the case with the pair being arrested in February this year by Bedfordshire Police when they stopped a Vauxhall Insignia on false plates on the M1, a spokesman said.
Inside were the brothers who were arrested and later charged with conspiracy to burgle between July 2017 and February 2018.
Since then they have been remanded in custody and pleaded guilty in May.
In several cases, the brothers attempted to destroy forensics by spraying cleaning fluids and using bleach in an attempt to remove traces of evidence, police said.
The brothers were identified as suspects through CCTV and DNA left at the scenes, allowing officers to link them to other burglaries.
Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras provided evidence as to their movements between Northampton and the other counties, despite their attempts to disguise stolen vehicles with false registration plates, the spokesman said.
Property found in abandoned stolen vehicles was linked to other occurrences across the south of England.
Detective Sergeant Lee Hazell said: “This was a complex investigation covering multiple police forces and counties.
“Successful partnerships with several other forces was key to bringing these offenders to justice.
“The Connors brothers were callous and opportunist, brazenly smashing doors or using tools to enter properties and using stolen vehicles with false registration plates to commit these crimes.
“We don’t underestimate the impact of a burglary on the victims, it is enormously emotionally upsetting and many of the Connors’ victims were left feeling unsafe in their own homes.
“Often the emotional damage can far outlast the time it takes to replace stolen items and repair damaged property.
“We’re pleased that two prolific offenders are now off the streets and facing justice, and hope that the sentences act as a deterrent to others.”
The Connors brothers have also received a Serious Crime Prevention Order (SCPO), following an application made by detectives.
The SCPO comes into effect upon their release from prison and is in place for five years and contributes to keeping Surrey safer by limiting offenders’ abilities to commit further crimes.