An organised crime gang from Merseyside have been jailed following a large-scale series of burglaries across North Wales.
Aidan Quirk, Curtis Roberts, and Daniel Doyle appeared before Caernarfon Crown Court yesterday, where they were sentenced to a combined total of more than 20 years.
Between them, they targeted a number of addresses across Flintshire, Conwy, and Gwynedd between 6 January and 6 February this year, predominantly houses of elderly people for cash and jewellery.
Following a 27-mile cross-border pursuit on the wrong side of the A550, M56, and M6, all three offenders were arrested on 6 February.
Quirk, 30, of no fixed abode, Roberts, 28 of Liverpool and Doyle, 28 also of Liverpool, all pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit seven offences of burglary in Conwy on 6 February.
Quirk and Roberts also admitted conspiring to commit four offences of burglary in Flintshire on 23 January.
In addition, Quirk pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit a further four burglary offences in Gwynedd on 6 January, possession of a Class A drug and several driving offences including dangerous driving, driving whilst disqualified and without insurance, and failing to provide a specimen for analysis.
Doyle was also charged with possession of a Class B drug.
The series of burglaries began in Gwynedd North on 6 January this year, when Quirk carried out a spree of offences in Llanrug, Tregarth, Penisarwaun, and Cwm y Glo.
Using a white Vauxhall Vivaro van bearing false number plates to travel to the area from Merseyside, he broke into four properties, stealing thousands of pounds worth of items.
He failed to stop for officers in a pursuit down the wrong side of the motorway, before going to ground.
On Monday 24 January, four addresses in Flintshire including two in Cilcain and two in Pantymwyn were ransacked in quick succession by Quirk and Roberts, where a number of expensive and sentimental jewellery items were stolen from the addresses, as well as numerous war medals.
On 6 February, Quirk, Roberts, and Doyle travelled to the Conwy area in the same Vauxhall Vivaro van with false number plates, where seven offences took place – predominantly at houses of elderly people.
The first burglary happened on Llanelian Road, Colwyn Bay, where they smashed the windows of an elderly man’s house and stole jewellery belonging to his late wife, as well as other items.
Shortly after, they attempted to burgle a second house on the same road before targeting a third property on Rhyd Y Foel, Abergele, where they stole a number of items of jewellery.
That evening, an elderly man living alone in Dolwen, Abergele, reported his home had been broken into and an untidy search had taken place, although no items had been stolen.
A property on Lon Y Gors, Pensarn had also been broken into by the gang on the same day, who had carried out another untidy search, stealing jewellery and other items from inside the house.
A further two burglaries were reported on Lon Y Cyll, Pensarn, where further property was stolen.
All three gang members were arrested a short time later following a second police pursuit.
Investigating officer, Detective Constable Sean Harrison said, “Quirk, Roberts, and Doyle are members of a sophisticated organised crime gang, responsible for a large-scale series of burglaries across North Wales. The impact of their crime spree should not be underestimated.
“Knowing criminals have been in your home, the place you should feel most safe, have rifled through your property and stolen personal possessions is sickening. Burglaries not only have significant effects on individuals, but also the communities in which they are committed.
“Whether or not items were stolen, to be subjected to such an ordeal is terrifying and something nobody should have to experience.
“This particular series saw the targeting of individuals for cash and jewellery and saw items of both significant value and sentiment being stolen – items of which were irreplaceable to the victims.
“I hope today’s result provide some comfort and reassurance to the victims and allows them to move forward with their lives. We will continue to make North Wales the safest place to live, work and visit.”
The following sentences were issued:
He was sentenced to eight years and six months for conspiracy to commit burglary, possession of a Class A drug, dangerous driving, driving whilst disqualified and without insurance, and failing to provide a specimen for analysis.
He was sentenced to six years and nine month for conspiracy to commit burglary.
He was sentenced to six years for consspiracy to commit burglary and possession of a Class B drug.
Images: North Wales Police: (L-R) Aidan Quirk, Curtis Roberts, and Daniel Doyle