Operation SCATTER

Investigation into a series of burglaries

Cross-border criminals sentenced

Three men have been sentenced to a total of six years in prison for carrying out a series of burglaries and other offences across Norfolk.

Nelson Loveridge, John Smith and Blossom Smith appeared at Norwich Crown Court today, Thursday 23 May 2013, following an investigation by the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit (ERSOU).

The men were arrested in The Woottons in the early hours of Wednesday 13 February, after police received reports of burglaries at McColls at The Street in Bawdeswell and the Jet garage on Middleton Lane in Norwich earlier that night. Cigarettes had been stolen in both incidents.

Loveridge, who is 27 and of Maltmas Road in Friday Bridge, Cambridgeshire, was charged with both burglaries plus the theft of a Vauxhall Astra from North Tuddenham in January. He must serve 21 months in prison.

Blossom Smith, aged 23 and of Gosburton in Spalding, Lincolnshire was charged with the McColls and Jet burglaries, the theft of the Astra and a burglary at Dereham’s Tesco store on Friday 1 January where cigarettes were also taken. He must serve 21 months in prison.

John Smith, who is 21 and of Werrington Bridge Road in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, was charged with the McColls, Jet and Tesco burglaries, the theft of the Astra and handling stolen goods on Wednesday 5 December 2012, namely a stolen Audi RS6 from Fakenham. He must serve 30 months in prison.

The three pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit burglary in April 2013 and were remanded in custody. John Smith and a fourth man, Danny Webb, a 27-year-old from Blunts Drove in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire also pleaded guilty to handling the stolen Audi. Webb was sentenced to 10 months imprisonment, suspended for 18 months.

An ERSOU spokesperson said: “This investigation was conducted by the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit (ERSOU), supported by Norfolk Constabulary. It focussed on travelling criminals who used stolen vehicles to commit night time burglaries at shop premises. These businesses suffered thousands of pounds of loss and damage during these attacks, which often cause further distress to the communities they serve.

“We want to reassure the public that ERSOU is actively involved in targeting organised criminals, such as these in rural areas, as well as tackling Organised Crime Groups elsewhere. This is part of our longstanding commitment to the communities of the Eastern Region in reducing the harm that organised criminals pose. Again it’s another success story, showing the dedicated and committed resources we have make a difference”.

Areas Covered