Gang smashed into homes and '˜callously scared' victims in burglary spate

A Chilean crime gang has been jailed for more than 20 years for a burglary spate which targeted homes across the district.

Monday, 18th September 2017, 2:27 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 3:30 am
Luis Villarroel, Julio Galdamez-Rodriguez, Irancisco Neira

Police said the gang smashed windows and doors at houses in Horsham, Albourne and Handcross as they forced their way in and stole jewellery, money and passports.

A total of 15 large rural properties were targeted across the country by the group in areas including Crydon, Oxfordshire, Monmouthshire and Cardiff, where they were eventually caught.

Julio Galdamez-Rodriguez, 20, Luis Villarroel, 35, and Irancisco Neira, 31, were sentenced to 21 years in prison at Lewes Crown Court on Friday September 15.

Gwent Police said the gang carried out five burglaries in quick succession in Monmouthshire and Cardiff on June 27.

After a tip off from members of the public they were seen leaving the final burglary and were stopped on the M4 near Bristol. Officers then discovered and seized items stolen in the five burglaries.

Following information from South Wales Police, Metropolitan Police, Thames Valley Police and Sussex Police, officers said they discovered the gang was responsible for a further ten burglaries across the country.

Items taken in the break-ins included jewellery, money, passports and electrical items such as phones and laptops, officers added.

Police said Neira (also known as Franciso Javier Montecinos) was jailed for six years.

Galdamez-Rodriguez (also know as Julio Daneil Galames Rodriquez) was given a nine year sentence.

Villarroel (also known as Luis Alberto Rojas and Luis Alberto Rojas-Villarroel) was jailed for six years.

A 16 year old was also charged with the offences but there are reporting restrictions currently in place, officers added.

Detective Constable Simon Reed said: “I would like to reassure our local residents that we are committed to tackling these types of reckless crimes and we will continue to proactively stop criminals who profit from other people’s misery.

“The defendants show no regard for their victims and intended to callously scare and steal from them.

“The sentencing shows our relentless efforts to bring justice upon those who commit such serious crimes and the continuous work involved to dismantle organised crime.

“This investigation has been painstaking and I hope the community will take comfort in these sentences handed out today.”