'Unsophisticated' burglars jailed after small businesses targeted in Herts and Beds six-week spree

PUBLISHED: 17:16 04 October 2019 | UPDATED: 17:16 04 October 2019

Luton Crown Court. Picture: Google Street View

Luton Crown Court. Picture: Google Street View

Archant

Two burglars were jailed last week after targeting small businesses and shops in a six-week crime spree across Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire, including in Codicote, Harpenden and Letchworth.

Three Dunstable men pleaded guilty - with one, who was 17 at the time, having his sentence commuted - to conspiracy to burgle during a hearing at Luton Crown Court on Friday, September 27.

Between September 11 and October 26, 2018, it was found that the three men committed 46 offences of burglaries or attempted burglaries of small businesses and shops in Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire.

The offences took place in a whole host of towns and villages, including Codicote, Harpenden, Letchworth, Lower Stondon, Markyate, Redbourn and Whitwell.

There was also a theft of motor vehicles in the West Midlands, which the men - aged 21 and under - used to commit the nearly 50 burglaries.

Following an investigation by Herts police's specialist investigation team and Bedfordshire Police's community crime unit at Kempston, all three defendants were arrested.

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Detective Sergeant Mick West, of the Herts specialist investigation team, said: "These men committed a large number of crimes in a short space of time. We are pleased that they pleaded guilty and with the sentences they have subsequently received.

"The burglaries themselves were committed in a very unsophisticated manner, with the offenders smashing through windows or using tools such as crowbars to force open front doors to the shops and business premises," said DS West.

"In the majority of crimes the cost to repair the damage caused far outweighed the value of the items stolen."

Two of the Dunstable men were jailed for the crimes, while the other received a community order:

- Lequan Bennett, aged 20, of High Street North, was sentenced to three years and nine months in a young offenders' institute.

- Kamil Tunnicliffe, aged 21, of Ridgeway Avenue, was sentenced to three years.

- Alfie Devlin, of Suncote Avenue - who was 17 at the time of the offences being committed, but is now 18 - was sentenced to a two-year community order, 150 hours of community service and electronic monitoring for nine months, with a curfew.

A fourth man, who was also involved with the spree, is currently awaiting sentencing.

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