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Crime gang leader jailed

PUBLISHED: 15:42 27 August 2010 | UPDATED: 11:58 16 September 2010

A MEMBER of a professional crime gang responsible for scores of house burglaries across East Anglia, including parts of the Great Yarmouth borough, was jailed for seven-and-a-half years for his part in the conspiracy.

A MEMBER of a professional crime gang responsible for scores of house burglaries across East Anglia, including parts of the Great Yarmouth borough, was jailed for seven-and-a-half years for his part in the conspiracy.

Edmundas Tamosauskas was part of a Lithuanian gang linked to 92 burglaries in just five months last year. Seventy happened in clusters across Norfolk. Others were reported in Suffolk and Essex.

The gang broke in while the occupants slept, looking for car keys. Stolen vehicles were then taken to Great Yarmouth where they were given false registrations. They were shipped to Lithuania and many have never been recovered.

The 26-year-old is the only gang member to be caught but police have fingerprint and DNA samples which could help identify other suspects. Officers are currently working with Interpol and monitoring borders in the hope the rest of the gang, believed to have fled the country, can be caught.

Det Con Neal Carr, from Norwich police, said there had been a dramatic reduction in burglaries since the gang was broken up. Between April and September last year, the period they were in operation, there were 830 burglaries in Norfolk compared to 677 during the same period the previous year.

Tamosauskas, of no fixed address, had denied conspiracy to burgle and conspiracy to disguise criminal property. In the face of overwhelming evidence, he told jurors: “I am under no illusion that I have any chance of winning this case.”

Jurors returned unanimous guilty verdicts on both counts.

Jailing Tamosauskas, Judge Simon Barham said that it was not possible to establish precisely how many of the burglaries he took part in or planned, but it was clear he was responsible for a large number.

The court heard that the burglaries often happened in clusters on a single night or over successive days. The team targeted homes across Norfolk, including in Gorleston, Martham, Ormesby and Rollesby.

In September, suspicious residents in Yarmouth alerted police to cars parked in Ferry Street. Officers found a number of vehicles with false identities stolen from burglaries across the three counties - believed to have been cloned ready for shipment.

Cars stolen included a silver Audi convertible, a VW Passatt, a Ford Puma and Ford Focus. The gang combed car trade magazines to find matching vehicles and then cloned the registration numbers.

Tamosauskas had embarked on the crime spree immediately after being released from prison following his conviction for handling a stolen vehicle.

In mitigation, Michael Clare said Tamosauskas had a three-year-old daughter and intended to leave the UK once released.

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