|Five sentenced following 23 burglaries - Wigan
Guilty: Balogh and Yates
Three men and two teenagers have been sentenced after committing 23 burglaries across Wigan.
Liam Loye (06/10/1991) of no fixed abode and Peter Balogh (20/06/1994) of Primrose Grove, Worsley Hall, Wigan pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit burglary at an earlier hearing.
Daniel Yates (01/03/1985) of Elliot Avenue, Golborne pleaded guilty to handling stolen goods.
On Friday 17 August 2012, Yates was jailed for 20 months, Loye to six years and Balogh to three years at Liverpool Crown Court.
Two 16-year-old boys, who cannot be named for legal reasons, received a two year and 12 month detention order.
Between November 2011 and January 2012, the group targeted 23 homes in the Standish, Swinley and Hawley Hall areas of Wigan.
During the night, they would walk through a number of streets, testing doors and windows to see if they were open. If they were insecure, they would walk in and steal money, laptops, watches and car keys before driving off in the victim's vehicle.
Often, the homeowners were asleep upstairs while the burglaries took place. On occasions, one of the group would crawl into the bedroom while the victim’s slept and steal personal possessions from the bedside table.
In one case, a Volkswagen Golf was stolen from a home in Hawkley Hall and was fitted with false number plates. The car was then sold to an unknowing member of the public for thousands of pounds.
Four of the five were arrested in the early hours of 5 January 2012 after members of the public alerted the police to a group of males walking up driveways and trying door handles to houses on Whitley Crescent, Wigan. The fifth member, Yates was arrested the following day having been identified from CCTV using three of the stolen vehicles to steal fuel in Ashton in Makerfield, Wigan.
Detective Sergeant Nigel Rigby from the Volume Crime Team said: “Yates, Loye, Balogh and the two teenagers did not care what misery they caused their victims. All they were bothered about were stealing personal property and making money for their own selfish gain.
“They went to extraordinary measures to steal possessions and it is quite unbelievable they went into bedrooms and stole while people were asleep. These burglaries resulted in families being frightened to sleep in their own homes
“A number of burglaries took place over Christmas and they did not think twice about ripping open presents that had been left under the tree and taking them, effectively ruining the holiday period for that family.
“In one case, a camera was stolen that contained the photos of newly born baby twins. The mum never got to see these photos as the camera was stolen before the family managed to print them off or save them on a computer.
“Thankfully, the group were tracked down, arrested and will now face up to what they have done by spending time behind bars.”