THREE brothers who "were motivated by greed" have been sentenced to more than ten years in jail after a crime spree which saw them commit more than 200 offences.

Shane Parker, 24, and Wayne Parker, 25, both of Sandacres Caravan site, Braintree, and Richard Parker, 32, of Dixons Hill Road, Hatfield, admitted conspiracy to steal and conspiracy to burgle at Chelmsford Crown Court yesterday (Friday, June 22).

In September and November 2018, the trio used stolen Audi cars to travel between counties in the east of England, breaking into business properties and cars and stealing items from them, in particular power tools.

Among their targets were vans parked in hotels in Braintree, Dunstable and Luton, in Bedfordshire, and Hemel Hempstead, in Hertfordshire.

They also broke into business properties in Basildon, Chelmsford, and St Albans and other offences were also committed in Suffolk and Cambridgeshire.

The court heard how the brothers would regularly change the number plates on the cars to avoid being caught, and would then return the stolen vehicle to its hiding place in Essex and travel home in their own personal cars.

The total value of goods stolen was estimated at being between £75,000 and £99,000.

The trio would then meet with a stolen goods handler in Dunstable to sell on their stolen property. The handler, James Nevin, 34, of Winslow Road, Milton Keynes, was also sentenced yesterday after admitting to three counts of handling stolen goods. He was jailed for 10 months.

Their convictions follow an investigation by the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit.

In his summing up, Judge Jonathan Seely said: "The offences were motivated by greed and they didn't give a tuppence about their actions."

Det Insp Andy Duddle said: “These three men wreaked havoc on areas across the eastern region, committing crimes on a daily basis in a ruthless and indiscriminate manner. On some occasions it’s believe they committed more than 30 offences in one night.

“Stealing tools from vehicles and breaking into business properties are far from victimless crimes. The types of items the brothers were stealing were high value power tools which cost a lot to replace and which some people rely upon in order to be able to do their job and bring in a wage.

“We’re committed to tackling cross border acquisitive crime such as this across the east of England as we recognise the serious impact this has on people on businesses so we’re glad the four men are now facing justice.”