Sandy teenager pleads gulity for role in £2m crime gang

PUBLISHED: 12:03 02 November 2018 | UPDATED: 12:03 02 November 2018

Sandy's Joe John Spencer Loveridge pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit burglary. Picture: Cambs police

Sandy's Joe John Spencer Loveridge pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit burglary. Picture: Cambs police

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A Sandy teenager has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit burglary for his role in an organised criminal gang that cost victims more than £2 million in an 11-month crime spree.

A Sandy teenager has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit burglary for his role in an organised criminal gang that cost victims more than £2 million in an 11-month crime spree.

Joe John Spencer Loveridge, 19, of Winchester Road, was one of nine gang members to plead guilty at Norwich Crown Court after they committed more than 200 burglaries between February and December last year.

The gang often burgled their victims in broad daylight, with three or four masked members smashing or forcing open doors and windows with tools found at the scene.

They would then steal specific items, including high-powered BMW and Audi cars. firearms, cash and jewellery.

Raids took place on homes, commercial premises and cash points across East Cambs, Bedfordshire, Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex.

Those involved in the gang were mostly close and distant family members and from the traveller community.

Det Insp Craig Harrison of Cambs police said: “For members of this gang, crime was just a way of life.

“In July last year they committed seven burglaries on one day and then eight the next and carried out about 50 for the whole month.

“Every one of those crimes had a victim, so the trauma and devastation caused in quite a short space of time was immense.

“They clearly had no care at all for the impact their offending was having on communities.

“One victim had recently lost his wife and they stole her jewellery and a purse, which we have since recovered for him.

“Another victim had lost her husband and suffers from dementia. They stole her husband’s medals but we managed to recover those too.

“This gang was single-handedly responsible for a crime wave in Cambridgeshire throughout most of last year and today they have been brought to justice.”

Cars stolen by the gang were left in residential car parks – with changed number plates – to be used in later crimes and evade police.

In one incident on July 20, a gang member drove a red Audi TTRS through a level crossing in Lakenheath, Suffolk, with the driver of an oncoming train forced to make an emergency stop to avoid a collision.

Vehicles would then be disposed of through garages or chop shops, with the parts sold on or exported.

Spencer will be sentenced, along with the others convicted, at a later date.

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