‘Gang of burglars’ jailed after being stopped by police at Colsterworth

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A gang of would-be burglars stopped by police as they drove along the A1 were each jailed for 18 months at Lincoln Crown Court.

The gang were arrested after Lincolnshire Police stopped an estate car at Colsterworth as it headed south along the A1 in convoy with a second vehicle.

When the two vehicles were searched police found a “burglars’ kit” including walkie talkies, a jamming device capable of blocking the signals from burglar alarms, gloves, screwdrivers, a drill, a jemmy and a sledgehammer.

Judge Michael Heath, passing sentence at Lincoln Crown Court, told them: “Whilst there is no evidence of any actual burglary having been committed the fact is that the six of you agreed to commit burglary and you tooled yourselves up to burgle. In pursuance of the agreement you travelled a considerable distance.”

Jeremy Janes, prosecuting, said that three Romanian men found inside the estate car stopped at Colsterworth were arrested.

Minutes later the second car was brought to a halt at Great Casterton leading to the arrest of another three men.

The men, who all lived in the London area, had earlier travelled north to Leeds and were heading back south when police intercepted them.

Mr Janes said: “Inside the cars were the trappings of a gang of burglars.

“No specific property was targeted but this has all the hallmarks of a gang of commercial burglars.”

Sergiu Balan, 25, of Bridge Road, London; Catalin Sergiu Bojoaga, 33, of no fixed address; Dino Mihai, 36, of Bridge Road, London; Andrei Nico Iurascu ,19, of Strone Road, London; Alexandru Sirbu , 51, of Sherrard Road, London; and Daniel Vijiac , 34, of no fixed address; all admitted conspiracy to burgle between 5 and 8 January.

Giles Bedloe, for Balan, said there was a lack of sophistication about the way the gang had gone about attempting to commit burglary. He said his client had found it difficult to get regular work since arriving here and plans to return to his home country as soon as he is able to do so.

Mark Watson, for Bojoaga, said he arrived in the UK five months ago with the intention of earning money to send back home to his family but then lost his job and got involved in crime.

Sunil Khanna, for Dino, said: “He decided to come to this country to seek work. He was working as a labourer and sending home what he could but then there was no further work and that led to him becoming involved.”

Tony Stanford, for Iurescu, said he had worked at car washes and labouring jobs and had been in the UK for over two years.

Mark Achurch, for Sirbu, said that like the others his client left Romania seeking employment but found himself unable to get a proper contract.

He added: “He regrets his behaviour enormously. He wants to go back to Romania.”

Chris Lowe, for Vijiac, said he was a man of good character.

He added: “He arrived here in the hope that he would secure a better life. The reality has been very different. It has been a torrid experience for him and he intends returning to Romania as soon as possible.”