Prolific burglary group sentenced following police operation
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Four people involved in burglaries across Stoke-on-Trent have been sentenced after we recovered more than £175,000 in stolen goods.
The group were convicted following an investigation which spanned nearly three years, linking them to more than 50 separate burglaries between December 2020 and September 2021.
They stole an estimated £21,000 worth of quad bikes, £55,000 in all-terrain vehicles, £46,000 worth of motorcycles, nearly £30,000 in pedal bikes, £18,000 in cars, £1,000 in fishing tackle and £5,000 worth of tools.
The combined total value of items stolen by the group is estimated to be more than £175,000.
Officers from Stoke South local policing team (LPT) worked diligently to investigate each theft, despite often limited lines of enquiry.
They discovered that the group has been conspiring together to steal the items and sell them for profit.
The group used a motorcycle parts business in Bucknall, owned by Wilkinson, to distribute the items to unsuspecting customers.
We started investigating them in January 2021 when Stevenson was arrested in the Barlaston area. Officers then carried out the simultaneous arrests of the outstanding offenders.
PC Scott Turner led the investigation for the entirety of the year.
The inquiry involved collaborative working across neighbourhood policing, our harm reduction hubs as well as our forensic and response teams.
Since the conclusion of the investigation, officers have worked tirelessly to trace many of the stolen items and return them to their rightful owners.
All four pleaded guilty to the offences and were sentenced at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court on Friday (17 November):
Joshua Twigg, 33, from Fenton, admitted conspiracy to steal, conspiracy to commit burglary and handling stolen goods. He was jailed for three years and two months
Lewis Stevenson, 21, from Meir, admitted two counts of burglary, one count of attempted burglary, conspiracy to steal and conspiracy to commit burglary. He was jailed for three years and six months
Robert Wojdak, 21, from Hanley, admitted conspiracy to steal and conspiracy to commit burglary. He was jailed for three years and two months
Liam Wilkinson, 44, from Abbey Hulton, admitted conspiring to commit burglary and conspiracy to steal. He received a two-year suspended sentence
A boy, who was 17 at the time, was also referred to youth offending services
(Lewis Stevenson (left), Joshua Twigg (middle) and Robert Wojdak (right))
Chief Inspector Robert Hessell, who assisted with the operation, said: “Proactive officers have worked diligently to recover these items, identify those responsible and deliver justice for the victims.
“It is a positive result which clearly demonstrates our priorities as a police force – to investigate crime thoroughly and support victims as much as we possibly can.
“Officers are continuing to strive for more positive results like this. We want to provide a bespoke service to the public - which is effective, attentive and transparent.”