Jewellery Burglars Jailed For 14 Years

Wimbledon home was one of their targets

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Two men who stole hundreds of thousands of pounds of jewellery from homes in the Home Counties and London, including Wimbledon, have been sentenced to a total of 14 years.

Roger Simmons (left), aged 34, targeted properties in rich areas, climbed through open windows on the first floor and stole expensive designer jewellery and cash.

His accomplice, Gary Cleary, aged 20, would wait nearby in a getaway car. The jewellery was usually sold on through unsuspecting dealers in London's jewellery trading district, Hatton Garden.

Many of the victims were at home at the time the offences were committed. On three occasions Simmons threatened the home-owners with violence.

At one address he threatened the victims, whilst brandishing a knife, and told them "they were going to get it" if his demands were not met.

While committing another offence he pushed over an elderly female victim who disturbed him after he had entered her bedroom through an open window.

The Wimbledon home they burgled was in Somerset Road, near the All England Tennis Club. They also struck at Kingston, Putney, Hampstead, Coulsden, Chipstead, Tadworth, Leatherhead, Purley, Cobham, Orpington and Bromley.

Simmon, of Meadowlands, Crawley, West Sussex, who had earlier pleaded guilty to conspiracy to rob (three offences) and conspiracy to burgle (incorporating 19 offences of residential burglary) received ten years when he appeared before Croydon Crown Court on Friday (February 18).

Cleary (left), of Paulet Road, Camberwell, Southwark, who drove Simmons to all the crime scenes, was found guilty at trial of conspiracy to burgle (incorporating 19 offences of residential burglary), and received four years.

The conviction and sentencing of Simmons and Cleary was the result of a pro-active operation, codenamed 'Cater', by the Metropolitan Police Service' (MPS) London Crime Squad.

The pair were arrested on March 10, 2010, having committed a burglary at a property near "Millionaires Row" - Bishops Avenue in Hampstead. Officers who searched Simmons' house found he had invested in his own personal diamond-testing machine, a tool commonly used by professional diamond dealers.

Detective Inspector Lee Hill, of the MPS London Crime Squad, said: "These individuals were responsible for a large number of residential burglaries across London and beyond. Simmons' propensity for violence was demonstrated at a number of these crimes. He showed no remorse for his actions."

February 22, 2011