Jewellery thieves jailed for more than 20 years

08 Aug 2017 13:00 PM

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A gang of jewellery thieves operating in Newcastle have been uncovered by Northumbria Police detectives - and jailed for more than 20 years.

Martin Ward, 32, Martin McDonagh, 39, and William O’Donaghue, 41, have all been found guilty of conspiracy to commit burglary after a trial at Newcastle Crown Court.

The gang were actually from Essex, Kent and London but travelled the country and targeted families living in the Kingston Park, Fenham and Heaton areas of the city.

They specifically targeted Asian families, breaking into their homes and stealing jewellery and gold worth more than £250,000.

Between January and July last year the trio raided 11 homes and left numerous families out of pocket and robbed of items that held huge sentimental value.

But now detectives from the Central Burglary Team have secured convictions against the men – as they are put behind bars for more than 20 years.

Superintendent David Felton, from Central Area Command, said: “These were sophisticated criminals who travelled the country to commit their offences in a bid to avoid capture.

“They though that by travelling to the North East they would avoid capture but little did they know that we have some of the most talented detectives in the world.

“Our officers used telephone data, witness testimony and ANPR information to track their movements and gather the evidence needed to convict them.

“All three men will now spend a considerable amount of time behind bars and that is down to the hard work of detectives - something that I am immensely proud of.

“Hopefully these sentences can bring some comfort to the families who were targeted by these callous thieves and bring closure to what has been a very difficult time for them.

“We will continue to pursue burglars operating in our region and do everything in our power to ensure Newcastle remains one of the safest places to live in the country.”

Ward, of Corringham, Essex, was jailed for seven years while McDonagh, of Staplehurst, Kent, was jailed for eight years. 

O’Donaghue, of Staffordshire Street, London, was jailed for eight years and six months which included an offence committed in London.

If you have information about a burglary in Newcastle or Gateshead then you can contact the Central Burglary Team on 101 or by emailing