A GANG of professional burglars who rampaged through Kent and Sussex, and whose raids included premises in Battle, Eastbourne, Southborough and Tonbridge, have been jailed.
The three man gang from London and Kent stole property worth more than £71,000, including cigarettes and alcohol, in their burglary rampage and left a trail of £25,000 worth of damage in their wake.
In Telham, near Battle, they targeted the Wilmoth Citroën garage, but the raid was unsuccessful.
That raid was listed in court as an attempted burglary.
Prosecutor, Danny Robinson told the court that the gang travelled to Sussex on January 14 this year.
The keyholder was called out at Wilmoth Citroën after the alarm was activated.
The next day, the company received a call from BT saying there was a problem with the phone line.
The wires had been cut but no entry was gained to the garage.
But it was then discovered the alarm had been pulled off the wall.
Two of the gang members, Mark Lawman, 43, of Freesia Close, Gillingham and Christopher Goodbrand, 54, of Eglinton Hill, Woolwich, have been sentenced to five-and-a-half years each.
The third member of the gang, Justin Manville, 39, of Bickmore Road, Maidstone was jailed for three years.
All three pleaded guilty to conspiracy to burgle.
Judge Philip Statman said as he jailed the trio that they had worked together before and continued: “All three of you knew you were playing for high stakes.
“No doubt there was a ready market for the cigarettes and alcohol that went missing – the booty from your crimes.”
He said they had carried out a series of “well planned” burglaries and that they had been “professionally executed”.
CCTV cameras had been disabled and phone wires cut to disable alarm systems.