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Serial burglars jailed for total of 13 years after stealing thousands of pounds of jewellery and guns

PUBLISHED: 17:26 18 September 2017 | UPDATED: 07:45 19 September 2017

Matthew Bryan. Picture: SUFFOLK POLICE

Matthew Bryan. Picture: SUFFOLK POLICE

Archant

Two serial burglars who stole thousands of pounds of jewellery and shotguns from homes across the country have been jailed for a combined total of more than 13 years.

Lee Heane. Picture: SUFFOLK POLICE Lee Heane. Picture: SUFFOLK POLICE

Lee Heane’s and Matthew Bryan’s prolific offending amounted to 50 burglaries across seven counties, including Hingham, Costessey and Thetford in Norfolk and Lavenham, Pakenham and Hadleigh in Suffolk.

Thousands of pounds worth of jewellery and a large quantity of cash was stolen during these burglaries, which took place between November 2016 and February 2017, along with three shotguns and cartridges from the property in Hadleigh.

The shotguns were recovered when police found a crashed and abandoned Jaguar in Kent which belonged to Bryan and contained his fingerprints, as well as DNA matching Heane.

Evidence gathered by detectives across the various police forces quickly linked a number of these burglaries, with Heane - aged 27, of Radford Drive, Leicester - and Bryan, 25, of Glenhills Boulevard, Leicester, identified as suspects.

Both men had been circulated as wanted prior to their arrests in February this year, with Heane being detained in Newcastle-under-Lyme and Bryan in Leicester.

Detective Constable Mark Hughes, officer in the case for the investigation, said: “Lee Heane and Matthew Bryan are prolific criminals who travelled around the country causing untold misery for their numerous victims.

“Although we took the lead for this inquiry in Suffolk, I am grateful for the support given to us by colleagues across the other counties concerned to help bring these men to justice. “Having your home burgled is one of the most intrusive crimes you can suffer and I hope the sentences given out today will bring some comfort to the victims.

“Heane and Bryan will now have many years in prison to contemplate their actions and the emotional impact and distress they caused to dozens of people.”

Heane and Bryan were sentenced to seven years and six years imprisonment respectively at Ipswich Crown Court on Friday, September 15.

Heane had previously pleaded guilty to 42 burglaries and Bryan to 15 burglaries, encompassing 27 offences in Staffordshire and a further 20 crimes across Suffolk, Norfolk, Kent, Hampshire and Sussex.

Heane also had another 10 offences taken into consideration in Cheshire and one in Suffolk and admitted being in possession of a firearm when prohibited for five years.

Bryan had an additional seven burglaries taken into consideration.

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