Two men from Merseyside have been handed a seven year jail sentence after burglaries targeting Lincolnshire members of the Chinese community.
The men, Paul White (main photo, 41) and his uncle, Peter (insert, 54), were sentenced for their crimes against numerous homes and businesses in the county and the rest of the UK.
The pair would disguise themselves as business men, wearing designer suits and staying in high-end hotels around the country.
They would select Chinese business owners across the country, research their work and home addresses, and then carry out thorough searches of their properties.
Hundreds of thousands of pounds of cash and gold would then be stolen, which is usually intended as a dowry.
The crimes were widespread in the Chinese community, causing great fear and impact on families affected.
It was DI Katrina Morton, DC Martin Ryder and DC Nick Hakes who ran Operation Proven to catch the brothers.
Paul, of Queen’s Road, Hoylake, The Wirral, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit burglaries at Wolsey Way, Chesney Road, Montaigne Gardens and Primrose Close on October 8 in Lincoln, among other locations in the county.
Paul was sentenced to 7 years and 4 months years in prison at Lincoln Crown Court on November 28, while Peter got six years earlier in the year for admitting to offences in Lincolnshire.
However, the six years will be added to another four-and-a-half-year jail term he had already been sentenced to, but he was on the run.
How they were found
Officers in Lincolnshire began their investigations after the offences in Lincoln. The Chinese community were warned to be extra vigilant around their homes and businesses and given descriptions of the pair.
Two weeks later, a resident spotted one man acting suspiciously, matching the description. The man visited the resident’s home in Lincoln on October 22, 2010, saying he had witnessed a car accident.
The resident didn’t believe the man, figured that his house was probably being targeted, and recorded part of the car’s registration number down when he left.
Lincolnshire Police eventually managed to trace the number back to Paul White’s car.
With this information, the police were then able to monitor mobile phone data, bank details and other intelligence linking Peter and Paul to the offences.
They also discovered the duo matched crime committed Essex, Suffolk, North Yorkshire and Wiltshire force areas.
After being arrested, police found Paul White had pawned thousands of pounds worth of jewellery at Liverpool pawn shops.
DC Ryder said: “These two criminals cynically and maliciously targeted the Chinese community here in Lincolnshire and across the country.
“Their thefts had a huge impact on a large number of families and we hope that this investigation and today’s sentencing sends out a very clear message to criminals in Lincolnshire and beyond – that we will work tirelessly to seek you out and bring you to justice.”