More than 50 charges and 27 years in prison sentences have been secured by a team of detectives at Kent Police in one month.

The Chief Constable’s Crime Squad are a team of uniformed officers and detectives who primarily investigate burglary and robbery offences.

crimesquad_tablet
Crime Squad statistics for May

Over the last month officers have showcased their expertise in targeting people who they suspect are involved in organised offending.

This includes those targeting innocent people, deemed to be vulnerable.

Among those jailed in May was Kyle Thatcher who broke into three homes between 7 and 20 April 2022 in Dover. During one burglary he pushed an elderly lady to the floor leaving her with a head injury.

He was caught after taking a duvet from one of the properties which was found by a dog walker in nearby woods and had Thatcher’s blood on it. An examination of his mobile data placed him in the areas of the three burgled properties.

He was jailed for 32 months at Canterbury Crown Court on 30 May 2022.

The team also secured the conviction of Alfie Chambers from Sittingbourne who was caught on CCTV targeting a home in Sheppey in September 2021. He was jailed for two years and five months at Maidstone Crown Court on 12 May 2022.

Detective Inspector Danielle Driscoll who leads the team said: ‘The results in May have removed dangerous individuals from the street and made our communities safer.

‘We will continue to relentlessly pursue anyone who has aspirations to commit similar offences and bring them to justice, making the county a difficult place for criminals to operate.’

Charges

A pair of suspected burglars charged with multiple break-ins across west and north Kent were among the 53 charges secured by the team.

Benjamin Legg and Jack Piccolo were arrested on 26 May on suspicion of targeting properties throughout Kent and Essex.

Legg, of Academy Drive Road, Basildon, Essex and Piccolo, of Station Parade, Barking, Greater London were charged with seven and 10 burglaries respectively. Both were also charged with one count of theft of bank cards. They will appear at court at a later date.

The team also carried out three search warrants and made a total of 15 arrests in May.

Prevention

Although the team have a proven track record of holding high-harm offenders to account, prevention is always better than cure.

Residents who may be planning a break away from their home are therefore reminded that unoccupied homes can present an opportunity for an opportunistic thief.

DI Driscoll said: ‘As we move into the summer months it is understandable that many of us will be thinking of going away.

‘If you are going to leave your home unoccupied, for any period of time, please remember to ensure all windows and doors are fully locked, with garden tools also kept secure.

‘If you have the means to do so, it is also worth investing in timer switches which allow you to turn on lights, or a radio, to give the impression your home is occupied. Private security cameras are also a known deterrent.

‘These are all really simple steps but are often enough to deter a thief who would be seeking an opportunity to quickly enter and leave a building.

‘Burglary offences remain rare but if you are unfortunate enough to be targeted, you can be assured every reasonable line of enquiry will be followed to identify an offender.’

By Ed

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