Burglars who faked being police jailed
Three burglars who dressed up as policemen to break into a secluded luxury estate and steal designer handbags and expensive clothes have been jailed for more than 11 years.
Daniel Bowen, 44, Daniel Kelly, 41, and 31-year-old Louis Ahearne even fitted a fake siren to their getaway car to dupe a resident into letting them inside the Grade II-listed housing complex in Westerham, Kent, on July 9 last year.
Shocking CCTV footage shows the thieves leaping out of what appears to be an unmarked police car dressed in fake uniforms and peering into a security camera as the blue lights flash in the background.
Once inside the trio smashed their way into an apartment and helped themselves to £4,000 worth of high-value belongings including a Louis Vuitton handbag, Chanel trainers, an iPhone and £600 cash.
They then attempted to force their way into another property but fled after being disturbed by neighbours.
However, the real police caught up with them after forensics teams found blood on a money box which provided a DNA match to Bowen, and he was arrested on August 22.
Officers recognised Ahearne and Kelly as the other two culprits after seeing the CCTV footage, and days later they were also arrested.
Bowen and Kelly, both from Charlton in south-east London, and Ahearne, of Eltham, south-east London, were all charged with burglary and attempted burglary.
Bowen pleaded guilty, while Kelly and Ahearne were convicted following a trial at Maidstone Crown Court.
On Tuesday, Kelly and Ahearne were each sentenced to five years in jail.
Ahearne’s term included a sentence for a separate and unrelated offence for possion of a stun gun.
Bowen was given two years and six months.
Detective Constable Alex Peacock, of the Chief Constable’s Crime Squad, said: ‘When we searched Kelly’s home, several items of police uniform were found and it is clear these men were prepared to go to considerable lengths to plan and carry out these offences.
‘The sentences reflect the seriousness of their offending.
‘We know all too well just how devastating burglaries can be, for anyone whose home is broken into, and I hope that today’s verdicts will provide the victims with a level of reassurance.’