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Two men jailed for burglaries in Romford shops

The pair wore facemasks to hide their identities (credit: Met Police)

Two men who posed as workmen to carry out a string of burglaries across east London, including in two shops in Romford, have been jailed.

The pair carried out their crimes, which also included the theft of more than a quarter of a million pounds from a high street bank, between July and September last year.

Jason Perry, of Clover Court, in Waltham Forest, has been sentenced to eight years in prison for his involvement in six burglaries.

Paul Thompson, 50, of Carlisle Avenue, Ealing has been sentenced to three years in jail at Snaresbrook Crown Court after pleading guilty to being involved in four burglaries.

Thompson had previously pleaded guilty to stealing a car from Lemna Road, Leytonstone in September last year.

The two men used various techniques including posing as workmen to open manhole covers and cut alarm cables.

The pair also wore facemasks and used walkie talkies to communicate while on site.

Jason Perry has been sentenced to eight years (credit: Met Police)

An initial burglary of a bank on A11, in Whitechapel, was carried out on the morning of Monday, 1 July 2019.

Five cash machines were cut into, with a later audit revealing that around £210,039 had been stolen.

CCTV from the evening of Saturday, 28 June 2019 revealed Perry supervising another unidentified man wearing a high-vis jacket and accessing a manhole outside of the bank.

The pair then returned to their white Ford transit van parked nearby, and returned to the bank, entering via a building site next door after making a hole in the wall.

They were later seen on CCTV going back and forth between the bank and the van and carrying bags, before driving away at 1.07am.

Perry and the second man returned to the venue the next morning and continued their burglary.

He then went on to commit further offences alongside Thompson.

Alcohol to the value of more than £2,500 was stolen from a supermarket in Lea Bridge Road, E10 on Sunday 12/Monday, 13 August 2019

Thompson was seen wearing a mask during the offence.

Paul Thompson has been sentenced to three years (credit: Met Police)

On Monday, 13 August, a shop in Rom Valley Way in Romford was broken into and more than £5,500 in cash was stolen along with a number of other items.

At the beginning of September 2019, there was an attempted break-in of a bank in High Road, Ilford.

Perry and Thompson were seen here using walkie talkies to communicate.

There were also two other incidents involving Perry but not Thompson.

On Tuesday, 27 August, a shop in Ravenside Retail Park, in north London, was broken into with more than £1,000 in cash stolen along with a number of other items.

Items to the value of around £4,300 were stolen again from a shop in Rom Valley Way, Romford, on Monday 26/Tuesday, 27 August.

The men were then spotted lifting up a manhole cover outside Leyton Leisure Centre and cutting cables within it on Sunday, 15 September. They were under surveillance by police at the time.

(credit: Met Police)

CCTV also showed Thompson approaching the doors to the leisure centre with Perry looking on.

They then left the scene but returned later that night when they forced open the fire exit doors.

Perry was arrested at the scene and Thompson, who fled from officers, was arrested a few hours later.

A number of items from the burglaries were found by police at Perry’s home address including a quantity of cash, the walkie talkie used, and one of the masks worn.

Detective Constable David Reed, from the Met’s Flying Squad, said: “Both Perry and Thompson are career burglars who targeted multiple businesses over the course of four months, causing significant losses.

“The offences were carefully planned and included accessing manhole covers to cut cables in order to disable CCTV and alarm systems.

“Despite this, as a direct result of a proactive operation led by the Met’s Flying Squad, strong evidence was obtained connecting them to these crimes leaving them little choice but to admit their involvement.

“Had they not been caught, I am certain they would have gone on to commit further offences and they are now rightly behind bars where they belong.”

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