A GANG of burglars including a man from Northwood and a woman from Hayes have been sentenced for stealing almost £400,000 worth of high performance cars from victims' driveways.
Craig Foskett, 26, of Knoll Crescent, was jailed for four years, while Danielle Costello, 21, (both pictured) of Balmoral Drive, was given a year's imprisonment, suspended for two years, plus a supervision order for 18 months and an electronic curfew for six months.
Isleworth Crown Court heard how the gang targeted top of the range vehicles at homes in north London, Hertfordshire and Thames Valley, with up to 30 cars believed stolen worth a total of £390,000.
Dozens of cars including BMWs, Mercedes, Audis and Jaguars were driven away when the gang seized the car keys after burgling the owners' homes. They often targeted driveways with two 'his and hers' cars, stealing both at the same time.
The vehicles, worth between £15,000 and £60,000 each, were then sold through a variety of channels.
The opportunist thieves also took cash, jewellery, laptops and credit cards from the homes they burgled.
Foskett and Costello, both unemployed, received their sentences on Friday (July 16) together with Lewis Nevard, 22, and Ben Lordan, 21, both of Greenway, Pinner, who were each jailed for three years.
The four were arrested in November last year in a series of dawn raids at a string of addresses in north London, and each admitted conspiracy to burgle in February.
The operation, codenamed Okul, was led by the Territorial Policing (TP) Crime Squad, supported by officers from the TP support group and borough officers from Harrow and Hillingdon.
Detective Chief Inspector Neil Thompson, of the TPLondon Crime Squad, said: "We worked together with our colleagues from borough and other units on sustained enforcement to disrupt this gang involved in residential burglary, and the sentences show that we are committed to bringing these offenders to justice.
"I would like to take this opportunity to urge householders to take measures to secure their valuables and property."
Police advice on car key burglaries:
*Never leave your keys on view near a door or window. Keys can be easily hooked through open windows and letterboxes. If your doors are fitted with 'multi-point' locks, make sure you lift the handle and key lock the door at night.
*Use cost effective exterior security lighting with low wattage bulbs that automatically switch on from dusk to dawn.
*Alarms are the most effective deterrent against burglary. Place external active burglar alarm bell boxes (with flashing lights and sounders) at the front and back of the property. Police recommend an installer who is affiliated to either the National Security Inspectorate (NSI) or Security System and Alarms Inspection Board (SSAIB).