FIVE men have been jailed for their roles in a string of burglaries across Bromley and Croydon.

The gang are believed to have targeted 26 homes across Beckenham, Bromley, Forest Hill and Croydon between September 2005 and March last year.

A business property was also hit.

Ezenwe Igwe, aged 24, of Selhurst Road, Selhurst ; Michael Ennis-Simpson, aged 20, of Casewick Road, West Norwood; Dean Myers, aged 23, of Farringdon Avenue, Bromley; Ashley Nation, aged 22, of Wheathill House, Penge, and Shane Lamey, aged 23, of Christie Drive, Croydon, were all given prison sentences after appearing in Croydon Crown Court on Wednesday.

Ennis-Simpson, Myers and Nation received six years in prison, Igwe got seven years and Lamey was given a three-year sentence.

A sixth man, Theon Thompson, aged 19, of Crowther Road, South Norwood, is due to be sentenced on April 16 after being convicted of conspiracy to commit burglary.

All six men were arrested on March 29 last year, after police tracked them down in Croydon by following a vehicle tracking system in a Golf GTI stolen from an earlier burglary.

Officers found items from earlier burglaries in two vehicles belonging to Igwe and Ennis-Simpson at the scene.

A search of the stolen Golf found items stolen from a Purley address.

Nation was wearing a bracelet and a watch taken from a property in Norbury.

Police also found receipts from a second-hand computer and DVD store in Bromley.

When the store's CCTV footage was viewed, five of the men were seen selling a large number of DVDs from another Purley burglary.

The men used an account opened in Igwe's name to sell the items.

Other items taken by the gang during the burglaries included two laptops, computer games and a BMW.

Nation, Ennis-Simpson and Myers all pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit burglary.

Igwe, Lamey and Thompson were found guilty of the same charge on Tuesday, following a trial at Croydon Crown Court.

Detective Sergeant Peter Ellis, of Bromley police, was recommended for a commendation by Judge Simon Pratt during sentencing.

He said "These convictions should serve as a warning and will send out the message that we will be relentless in our pursuit of lawbreakers and that we will leave no stone unturned in our efforts to hold them to account for their actions".

Detective Inspector Garry Stokes, head of Bromley police's Burglary Squad said "This is an excellent result for the people of Bromley.

"Taking these criminals out of circulation will have a big impact on this type of crime in the borough. It is an outstanding result and I would like to pay tribute to the dedication, enthusiasm and commitment of my officers.

"I am extremely proud of the way that they have risen to the challenge and these convictions and sentences sends out the message very loud and clear that crime does not pay and will not be tolerated in the borough of Bromley".

Background to the sentencing:

  • All six were charged with burglary offences on March 30 last year.
  • They all pleaded not guilty the following day in the same court.
  • Nation, who was on early release from prison, was remanded because he had breached his release licence.
  • The remainder were given bail.
  • Police came back to court with further evidence and Igwe, Ennis-Simpson and Myers were remanded in custody.
  • At the end of May police had linked the gang to further offences and the charge was changed from burglary to a conspiracy to commit burglary from a period from September 1, 2005 until the date of their arrest on March 29 last year.
  • Three of the men pleaded guilty to this charge and another three were found guilty after a trial.
  • 27 burglaries had been linked during this period.

Burglaries in the Bromley area saw the following items taken:

  • Warwick Road, Anerley: burglary on 6 December 2005 - Hi Fi and computer equipment, jewellery and £20 from child's piggy bank stolen.
  • Reddens Road, Beckenham: burglary on 6 January 2006 - Hi fi and computer equipment and Saab car stolen.
  • Queens Road, Beckenham: burglary on 6 January 2006 - Hi fi and computer equipment stolen.
  • Overbury Avenue, Beckenham: burglary on 15 February 2006 - TV equipment and Ford Focus car stolen.
  • Manor Way, Beckenham: burglary on 15 February 2006 - Audi car stolen.
  • Chestnut Avenue, West Wickham: burglary on 22 February 2006 - disturbed, nothing taken.
  • Chestnut Avenue, West Wickham (same road, different address): burglary on 22 February 2006 - disturbed, nothing taken.
  • Langley Road, Elmers End: burglary on 9 March 2006 - MG car stolen.
  • Downs Hill, Beckenham: burglary on 28 March 2006 - disturbed, nothing taken.