THREE men have been jailed for stealing £60,000 worth of jewellery and other items in a series of burglaries across the south of England - including break-ins in Medstead, Ropley, Liss and Headley last year.

Lewis Kelleher, 30, of Byerley Road, Portsmouth, Sami Hussain, 25, of Edith Road in Hammersmith, and Richard Ashley Hart, 34, of Conigham Road, Hammersmith, were found guilty of 27 counts of burglaries.

They also caused more than of £28,000 worth of damage as they forced their way into people’s homes.

At Guildford Crown Court last Friday (January 11) Kelleher pleaded guilty to 21 offences and was sentenced to five years and seven months, Hart pleaded guilty to three offences and was sentenced to two years and Hussain pleaded guilty to 11 counts of the 21 burglaries and was sentenced to four years and three months.

Between November 2017 and July 2018, the trio targeted properties in Hampshire, Surrey, Sussex and Hertfordshire. In July, a series of search warrants were executed in Portsmouth, Fulham and Hammersmith by officers from Surrey Police and Hampshire Constabulary.

Kelleher was found at an address in Fulham and arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to burgle. His mobile phone was seized, as were his trainers which matched those worn at one of the offences. Further warrants resulted in the arrests of Hussain and Hart.

While searching Hart’s home, officers recovered a black crash helmet matching that which was seen on CCTV during a burglary in Haslemere.

The trio burgled three rural properties on March 9, including Windsor Road and Roe Downs Road in Medstead and Vicarage Lane in Ropley.

In April, the spree continued with Stodham Lane and Farther Common Lane in Liss targeted on April 19. The following day, the group hit Liphook Road in Headley and Church Road and Tunbridge Lane in Liphook.

In Surrey, they targeted ten properties in and around Haslemere - many on the same day - again making off with cash and jewellery.

Investigating officer Detective Constable Arun Sharma said: “Unfortunately, these men caused grief to many victims across the south of England.

“This was a complex investigation covering multiple police forces and counties. Successful partnerships between several forces were key to bringing these offenders to justice.”