BBC News

Burglars who targeted Raheem Sterling's home jailed

Published
image copyrightEPA
image captionThe gang attempted to burgle the home of Manchester City footballer Raheem Sterling
Three burglars who stole more than a half a million pounds-worth of luxury items from the homes of the rich and famous have been jailed.
The Liverpool-based raiders stole from wealthy individuals around England over 11 months, Chester Crown Court heard.
Manchester City footballer Raheem Sterling and Jamiroquai singer Jay Kay were among those targeted.
Thomas Mee, 42, Vincent Ball, 52, and John Barlow, 58, were sentenced after admitting conspiracy to burgle homes.
Mee, currently serving a separate sentence at HMP Altcourse, was jailed for eight years and seven months; Ball, of Ranworth Place, Liverpool, was sentenced to six years and nine months and Barlow, of no fixed address, was jailed for seven years and six months.
Mee also admitted three counts of handling stolen goods.
The court previously heard the men were "highly organised and sophisticated house burglars" who targeted the homes of "high-wealth individuals" using cloned number plates and pay-as-you-go "dirty phones" to avoid detection.
They attempted to burgle Sterling's home in Cheshire on 4 November 2018 but fled when the alarm system was activated.
image captionThe home of Jamiroquai singer Jay Kay was targeted by the gang
Ten days later, the three men targeted Kay's home in Buckinghamshire.
The court heard the singer's housekeeper noticed an upstairs window was open and found a camera had been stolen.
On 5 October 2019 the men broke into the Prestbury home of Bury FC chairman Steve Dale.
Watches worth between £300,000 and £500,000 were dropped by the intruders as Mr Dale's son gave chase, and they left the property with only a £10 note.
The court previous heard jewellery, watches and handbags worth more than £550,000 were taken from 14 properties across Nottinghamshire, Worcestershire, Buckinghamshire and Warwickshire between November 2018 and October 2019.
The men were later arrested and items including balaclavas, binoculars, crowbars and cloned number plates were found in a car used by the gang.
Speaking after the sentencing hearing, a spokesman for Cheshire Constabulary's serious and organised crime unit said the burglars had shown "an extreme level of forensic and digital awareness".
He continued: "A significant level of planning and preparation went into each burglary, with the trio travelling hundreds of miles to commit the offences and specifically targeting the homes of high profile businessmen and women, footballers and celebrities.
"The impact of their crime spree should not be underestimated. To know that criminals have been in your home, rifled through your property and stole your personal possessions is sickening."
Why not follow BBC North West on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram? You can also send story ideas to northwest.newsonline@bbc.co.uk

Related Topics

  • Raheem Sterling
  • Cheshire
  • Liverpool

More on this story

  • Burglars target Raheem Sterling's home during crime spree