Lithuanian’s Fenland burglary spree linked to 92 others in just five months
A MEMBER of a professional crime gang responsible for house burglaries in Fenland villages and across East Anglia was jailed for his part in the conspiracy.
Edmundas Tamosauskas was part of a Lithuanian gang linked to 92 burglaries in just five months last year.
The court heard that the burglaries often happened in clusters on a single night or over successive days. The team targeted homes in Upwell, Outwell and Downham Market as well as many throughout Norfolk.
They were behind similar crimes in Suffolk, and Essex.
The gang broke in while the occupants slept, looking for car keys. Stolen vehicles were then taking to Great Yarmouth where they were given false registrations. They were shipped to Lithuania and many have never been recovered.
The 26-year-old is the only gang member to be caught but police have fingerprint and DNA samples which could help identify other suspects. Officers are currently working with Interpol and monitoring borders in the hope the rest of the gang, believed to have fled the country, can be caught.
Det Con Neal Carr said there had been a dramatic reduction in burglaries since the gang was broken up.
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Between April and September last year, the period they were in operation, there were 830 burglaries in Norfolk compared to 677 during the same period the previous year.
He said: “With every inquiry, we found more crimes and new leads in other locations. The case just kept getting bigger and bigger. This was organised crime on a massive scale.
“An aggravating factor was that they carried out the burglaries while the occupants were inside their homes, this is something which can cause a great deal of distress. This sentence will bring some closure and reassurance to the victims.
“This was a highly organised, professional operation involving a number of people and, had we not stopped them, there is every reason to believe this would have continued.”
Tamosauskas, of no fixed address, had denied conspiracy to burgle and conspiracy to disguise criminal property.
In the face of overwhelming evidence, he told jurors: “I am under no illusion that I have any chance of winning this case.”
Jurors returned unanimous guilty verdicts on both counts.
Jailing Tamosauskas for seven and a half years, Judge Simon Barham said that it was not possible to establish precisely how many of the burglaries he took part in or planned, but it was clear he was responsible for a large number.
Cars stolen included a silver Audi convertible, a VW Passatt, a Ford Puma and Ford Focus. The gang combed car trade magazines to find matching vehicles and then cloned the registration numbers.
Tamosauskas had embarked on the crime spree immediately after being released from prison following his conviction for handling a stolen vehicle.
In mitigation, Michael Clare said Tamosauskas had a three-year-old daughter and intended to leave the UK once released.
Speaking after the case, Det Chief Inspector Neil Firm said: “Tamosauskas was part of a crime gang carrying out multiple dwelling house burglaries in otherwise safe and peaceful communities, causing residents to fear for their security and safety.
“Working with others, he is responsible for a significant amount of crime both here and in neighbouring counties. The meticulous work of our detectives and crime scene investigators has helped bring him to justice.”