A PROLIFIC gang of distraction burglars who targeted Lancing have started long prison sentences after pleading guilty to posing as police officers to prey on elderly victims.
Miles Connors, 39, Patrick Connors, 18, and James Hanrahan, 39, all from Barra Hall Circus, in Hayes, Middlesex, have been sentenced to a total of 21 years’ imprisonment at Newcastle Crown Court.
The gang targeted elderly people - mainly in their 70s, 80s and 90s - by posing as police officers, and occasionally as utility company officials, as they tricked their way into their victims’ homes to steal cash.
In Lancing, two gang members targeted two addresses in Orchard Avenue, Lancing, around 7.30pm, claiming to be police officers.
They searched the premises and took £700 cash from one address occupied by a couple in their late 60s and £1,300 from the other addresses occupied by a lady in her 80s.
The gang also hit Portslade, with two men entering an address of a woman in her 70s in Valley Road, Portslade.
They said that they were police officers and that a window had been broken.
However, they were unsuccessful in finding anything to steal and it was later found the door had been forced.
Two men called at the address of a couple in their 80s in the same road, at around 7pm, and stole more than £2,000 cash.
Miles Connors and Patrick Connors are beginning sentences of nine and seven years’ imprisonment respectively, after admitting to charges of conspiracy to burgle and burglary.
James Hanrahan was handed a five year sentence after pleading guilty to burglary.
Their sentences come as the result of a nationwide investigation into a series of distraction burglaries across the country, led by North Yorkshire Police, and involving 11 forces.
The gang were caught in April.