Gang of three sentenced for their roles in seven-week crime spree across Norwich and south Norfolk

A gang of three have been punished for their roles in a seven-week �24,000 crime spree targeting houses and businesses.

Between them, the three admitted further offences worth another �82,000, Norwich Crown Court heard yesterday.

Karl Yallop, Lee McKean, and Joshua Terry took part in a 'sustained campaign of dishonesty' in Norwich and south Norfolk because they were bored. Five houses and four commercial premises were burgled, while six cars were stolen during a seven-week period last year.

Yallop, 18, of Crown Road, New Costessey, and Terry, 17, of Aspland Road, Riverside, Norwich, had admitted conspiracy to burglary.

McKean, 24, whose address was listed as HMP Norwich, had also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to burglary but claimed he merely knew about certain offences and did not take part in them.

David Wilson, prosecuting, said: 'The primary aim was to steal motor vehicles. In order to pursue that aim, premises were targeted.'

The court heard Yallop was was in court last April for stealing �380, a Mazda MX5 car and keys to two other vehicles at Ditchingham. He pleaded guilty and was given a community order on April 19, which included 200 hours unpaid work, and was banned from driving for 18 months.

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But Mr Wilson said the next offence in the conspiracy included a car, handbag and three gold chains worth �450 being taken from a property in Mission Road, Diss, on April 25.

The court heard a woman spotted Terry in her bedroom and screamed, prompting him to run off. She later realised the items had been stolen.

In the following weeks, properties in Diss, Rockland and St Andrew's Road in Norwich were burgled.

Family garage WCS, in Old Costessey, was targeted twice, with eight sets of car keys stolen in the first incident.

Attempts were made to increase security but on the second occasion three cars worth �14,000 in total were stolen including a BMW, Nissan and a Mazda. Hempnall village hall was also left with a �1,000 repair bill after it was raided.

Shoe marks and fingerprints began to link the defendants to various crimes.

Simon Spence, for Terry, said: 'He has made an awful lot of progress. While in custody he has shown a responsible and adult attitude.'

Mr Spence said serious crimes had been committed but added: 'These are bored young men not giving any thought to the consequences of their actions to steal motor vehicles to drive around. It's mindless criminality - that's what's so sad about it.'

Michael Clare, mitigating, said Yallop is a qualified mechanic and had established a garage business at his parents' house. His client had not committed any further offences since being granted bail last July.

Judge Alasdair Darroch said: 'This was a sustained campaign of dishonesty by people with previous convictions.

'I accept the cars were not stolen and retained but one was written off and people were disturbed at night in their homes. It's thoroughly anti-social behaviour.'

McKean accepted a charge of dangerous driving committed during the conspiracy. This was after he failed to stop for police and then proceeded to drive the wrong way round a roundabout, forcing oncoming traffic to swerve. He later abandoned the Mazda car in the Anglia Square area of Norwich.

The 24-year-old also asked for a further 26 similar offences committed between 2007 and 2008, to be taken into consideration yesterday, said to have a value amounting to �55,000.

McKean was sentenced to 20 months prison for conspiracy to burglary, four months for dangerous driving and banned from driving for 18 months.

The court heard Yallop asked for four additional offences from November 2010 to June 2011, involving items valued at �3,800, to be taken into consideration, while Terry had 19 additional matters valued at �23,000.

Yallop, was given two years in a young offenders' institute, reduced by 114 days for an early guilty plea.

Terry, received a 12-month supervision order, which includes intensive supervision for 91 days, a curfew and he was disqualified from driving for 18 months.

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