A group of four burglars have been jailed for a series of distraction burglaries in London. The group, which included members from West Drayton, Iver and Billingshurst, committed 22 burglaries in just over two months across various locations in London including Hillingdon, Ealing, Hounslow, Tower Hamlets, Colindale, Barnet, Greenwich, Brent, Enfield, and Islington.
After a joint investigation by officers from north and west London and the Metropolitan Police’s Flying Squad, the group was intercepted in a pub in Cricklewood, Barnet, after they abandoned their last “mission” vehicle, which had been forensically cleansed.
Detective Superintendent Simon Moring, from the Met’s Central Specialist Crime – Flying Squad, said: “This investigation focused on a prolific team of burglars who specifically targeted the elderly and vulnerable. They posed as legitimate workmen, enabling them to enter the homes of their victims. Some of the property they stole had sentimental value and is irreplaceable.”
All four men were charged with conspiracy to commit burglary and pleaded guilty at Harrow Crown Court. They were subsequently sentenced on Tuesday, 4 April.
John Casey, 43, from Billingshurst, West Sussex, was sentenced to eight years and six months’ imprisonment.
Michael Casey, 47, also from Billingshurst, West Sussex, was sentenced to seven years and nine months’ imprisonment.
Martin Moloney, 42, from West Drayton, was sentenced to five years and four months’ imprisonment.
Sean McGoldrick, 50, from Iver, was sentenced to six years and six months’ imprisonment.
An investigation was launched after detectives identified a series of artifice burglaries (burglaries which affect vulnerable sections of the community) that occurred between 17 January and 29 March 2022.
In each incident, the suspects would knock on the door of an elderly occupier and introduce themselves, engaging in conversation before entering the house to look for plumbing issues. They would then ask the householder to remove items from under the sink, serving as a distraction while Michael Casey, Maloney and McGoldrick would enter premises and search for cash, jewellery, watches and gold. John Casey would wait outside in the mission vehicle ready to make their escape.
On 29 March 2022 John Casey, Michael Casey and Martin Maloney were arrested having been observed by police visiting an address of an elderly person and subsequent enquiries confirmed the same method had been used in order to steal cash from within the premises. McGoldrick was arrested a few days later and all four were charged as above.
Throughout their spree, the gang stole a total of £39,695 worth of jewellery, often from Asian families. This included engagement rings and family heirlooms. The bulk of the losses came from a single offence in west London, where £23,720 of jewellery made up of gold and jewelled rings, bangles and earrings were stolen. They also stole £13,340 in cash.
Detective Superintendent Simon Moring, continued by saying: “They were sophisticated in their offending and forensically aware. They frequently changed vehicles to evade capture. I should like to thank the members of the public who provided police with information and CCTV footage. I should also like to pay tribute to all officers and staff who have worked tirelessly to bring about these convictions.”
The sentencing of the four burglars follows a police crackdown on artifice burglaries across London, with the Met’s Flying Squad warning the public to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity.