MEMBERS of predatory gang responsible for the burglary of 23 Wigan homes have been caged for a total of more than 13 years.
The three men and two teenagers had admitted to the night-time targeting of homes over a three-month period in Standish, Swinley and Hawkley Hall.
Liam Loye, 19, of no fixed address and 18-year-old Peter Balogh of Primrose Grove, Worsley Hall, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit burglary. Daniel Yates, 27, of Elliot Avenue, Golborne admitted handling stolen goods.
Yates was jailed for 20 months, Loye to six years and Balogh to three years at Liverpool Crown Court. Two 16-year-old boys, who cannot be named for legal reasons, received two-year and 12-month detention orders.
The hearing was told that the gang struck at night during November 2011 and January 2012. They would walk through a number of streets, testing doors and windows to see if they were open. If they were insecure, they would walk in and steal money, laptops, watches and car keys before driving off in the victim’s vehicle.
Often, the homeowners were asleep upstairs while the burglaries took place. On occasions, one of the group would crawl into the bedroom while the victims slept and steal personal possessions from the bedside table.
In one case, a Volkswagen Golf was stolen from a home in Hawkley Hall, fitted with false number plates, then sold to an unknowing member of the public for thousands of pounds.
Four of the five were arrested in the early hours of January 5 after members of the public alerted the police to a group of males walking up driveways and trying door handles to houses on Whitley Crescent, Wigan. Yates was arrested the following day having been identified from CCTV using three of the stolen vehicles to steal fuel in Ashton.
Det Sgt Nigel Rigby from the Volume Crime Team said: “Yates, Loye, Balogh and the two teenagers did not care what misery they caused their victims. All they were bothered about were stealing personal property and making money for their own selfish gain.”