Burglars who posed as police officers in order to gain access to a property near Westerham have been given jail sentences of a total of more than 12 years.
Daniel Bowen, Daniel Kelly and Louis Ahearne tricked their way into a gated community of apartments in Ide Hill, by wearing police uniforms and using a blue flashing light mounted on the roof of their car.
The trio arrived at the location, off Emmetts Lane, late on 9 July 2019.
After stopping the vehicle at an entrance gate, they were allowed inside the grounds by a resident who assumed they were genuine officers.
The men then broke into an apartment by smashing a window, before stealing money, handbags and designer trainers.
They attempted to then force their way into another property but fled after being disturbed by neighbours.
Watch the video here:
Forensic investigators detected blood stains on a money box which provided a DNA match to Bowen and he was arrested on 22 August.
Officers recognised Ahearne and Kelly as the other two culprits after viewing CCTV and just days later they were also both arrested.
Bowen, aged 44, of Wolfe Crescent, Charlton; Kelly, aged 41, of The Heights, Charlton and Ahearne, aged 31, of Stanley Close, Eltham were all charged with burglary and attempted burglary.
Bowen pleaded guilty, whilst Kelly and Ahearne were convicted following a trial at Maidstone Crown Court.
On Tuesday 26 May 2020 Kelly and Ahearne were each sentenced to five years' imprisonment. Ahearne's sentence included a separate and unrelated offence for possession of a stun gun.
Bowen received two years and six months.
Detective Constable Alex Peacock, of the Chief Constable’s Crime Squad, said: ‘When we searched Kelly’s home several items of police uniform were found and it is clear these men were prepared to go to considerable lengths to plan and carry out these offences"
The sentences reflect the seriousness of their offending. We know all too well just how devastating burglaries can be, for anyone whose home is broken into, and I hope that today’s verdicts will provide the victims with a level of reassurance.