15 years in jail for burglary conspiratorsBy Mike Pyle
May 15, 2012
Three thieves have been jailed for a total of more than 15 years while three others have also been punished for their parts in a conspiracy to commit around 100 burglaries.
Luke Haywood, 26, from Amblecote Rise, Tilehurst, was sentenced to six years in prison, Ashley Shepherd, 24, from Alston Walk, Caversham, was sentenced to five years and James Cox, 22, of Hambleberry Court, Tilehurst, was sentenced to four-and-a-half years in prison.
Haywood and Shepherd both pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to burgle while Cox denied the same charge but was found guilty by a jury on Thursday, March 22.
A 17-year-old boy also pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to burgle and was sentenced to a 12 month rehabilitation order, 100 hours of unpaid work and a curfew with an electronic tag.
Rebecca Stanton, 19, from Amblecote Rise, Tilehurst, and Calvin Shepherd, 27, from Caversham, admitted handling stolen goods in connection with the conspiracy. Stanton was given a 12 month conditional discharge and Shepherd was ordered to pay £300 costs.
The sentences, handed out at Reading Crown Court on Friday, May 11, come as a result of Operation Milligan which was set up in March 2011 to look into a spate of high value burglaries around Henley.
Covert and overt operations led to Haywood being arrested at the scene of a burglary in Nettlebed and the others being arrested when 10 warrants were executed at addresses around Reading.
Thames valley police and the crown Prosecution Service believe the conspiracy could have involved more than 100 burglaries.
Property stolen included jewellery, cash, electrical items and cars.
Det Sgt Francesca Jarvis, investigating officer, said: "This operation was run by a small team of dedicated officers who were determined to catch those responsible for this spate of burglaries across the area.
"I am pleased with the sentences handed out by the court last week. This was an organised group of criminals, travelling from their own addresses in Berkshire to commit these offences, usually in the dead of night.
"The three main ringleaders in the group have now been given substantial prison terms for their part in the conspiracy.
"The operation has resulted in not only a positive sentencing outcome, but has also given some closure to those victims who were greatly affected by these burglaries."