1. ITV Report

Gang jailed after Kent 'crime spree'

The gang targeted homes across Kent Photo: Kent Police

Six men have been sentenced for their part in dozens of burglaries across the Medway, Swale and Maidstone areas of Kent.

Danny Stevenson, 27 of Bettescombe Road, Gillingham, and Adam Green, 24 of Hards Town, Chatham were each sentenced to six years in jail.

Jamie Rustage, 21 of Beatty Avenue, Gillingham and Frank Harris, 19 of Swift Crescent, Chatham, were both sentenced to four years imprisonment.

James Clark, 21 of Hards Town, Chatham was sentenced to 3 years and four months behind bars, and Charlie Bushell, 21 of Kingston Crescent, Chatham received 14 months in jail.

Stevenson, Green, Rustage, Harris and Clark all admitted the offence of conspiracy to commit burglary, and Bushell admitted one count of attempted burglary, at a previous court appearance on 17 September.

Each were sentenced on Friday and Maidstone Crown Court. The gang targeted a number of homes across Kent, breaking in to steal car keys and then targeting high value cars parked on the driveway.

Their crime spree began on 15 September 2011 with the final offence being reported to Kent Police on 7 January 2012.

In total, officers from The Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate investigated around 48 offences in connection with the crime series.

His Honour Judge Statman commended the work of Detective Constables Hobbs and Dampier of the Serious Crime Directorate for an "exemplary investigation".

The first offence took place in the early hours of Thursday, 15 September 2011 when a black Honda CR-V valued at around £20,000 was stolen from the driveway of a house in Harvesters Close, Rainham.

On the same evening a Mercedes Benz worth £18,000 was taken from a driveway of a house in Emsworth Grove, Maidstone. The vehicle was stolen after the house was broken into and the car keys taken from the property. The owners were asleep in the property whilst the crime was carried out. The vehicle was located in Burlington Gardens, Rainham the following day. The number plates had been removed.

Another offence took place in Forge Lane, Upchurch, Sittingbourne on Sunday, 9 October 2011, when a silver Mercedes Benz valued at £23,000 was stolen. The car was found in Cherry Close, Lenham the following day after a police patrol spotted it being driven on the A20.

The final offence was reported to have taken place at around 4.35am on Saturday, January 7, at a house in Chafes Lane, Upchurch. In this instance an intruder to the property made off empty handed after being challenged by an occupant.

An image was recovered from Stevenson’s phone which was shown in court and is believed to represent how the offenders appeared when breaking into victims’ premises.

The court heard that the investigation by officers from The Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate examined mobile phone data which provided evidence linking the men to the offences.