Smirking leader of £1m burglary gang pictured waving wads of cash in luxury penthouse suite has smile wiped off his face with 8 year jail sentence
Two cocky crooks pose with fistfuls of £50 notes – a fraction of the £1 million they grabbed in 102 burglaries.
Swaggering leader Luke Wall, 24, in fluffy bathrobe and baseball cap, showed off in the penthouse suite of a luxury London Docklands hotel.
Sidekick Kyle Shillingford, 27, sat for his trophy photo in a car in sunglasses.
But the grinning pair had the smiles wiped of their faces after police used the damning images to convict them.
Wall is now starting an eight-year jail term and Shillingford has been locked up for 28 months.
They were part of a five-strong gang who struck across East Anglia, Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire and North London between March and September last year.
They looted cars, money, computer equipment, electrical goods and jewellery and often sold them on.
Police said 3970,000 worth of property was stolen but only about £159,000 has been recovered so far.
Wall, of Tilbury Essex was the leader of the gang which also included his 21 year-old girlfriend Teresa Connors, a mum-of-three.
She was also from Tilbury and was jailed for eight months for conspiracy to commit burglary.
The pair breached bail conditions in relation to burglary offences and went on the run last June.
Police tracked them down and they were arrested three months later – but had continued to commit burglaries in the time they were on the run.
Judge John Devaux told Ipswich Crown Court the gang carried out a “significant conspiracy to burgle properties in a large geographical area”.
He said all five of the gang had shown a “significant degree of planning and sophistication” in how they carried out the burglaries.
Joseph Mahon, 20, of Cambridge, was given 40 months’ detention at a young offenders’ institution.
Robert Butler, 31, of Romford, Essex, was the only member of the gang to deny conspiracy to commit burglary but was convicted after a trial and jailed for seven years.
Inspector Paul Maleary of Essex Police said Wall showed “a blatant disregard” for victims’ feelings.
He said “often sentimental items of jewellery were stolen that have not been recovered.”
He said: “The investigation team brought about conspiracy evidence for more than 100 burglaries committed by different members of this group.
“I suspect that they probably committed many more.”