A GANG who stole £220,000 worth of items in a string of burglaries across the South have been jailed.

The seven men were involved in a series of 18 raids at shops, outdoor places and homes in Southampton and Bournemouth, Bognor Regis and Eastbourne in a 10 week blitz.

Now five are behind bars for a total of between four and a half and one year and two have been handed suspended sentences after being sentenced at Southampton Crown Court for conspiracy to steal.

All of the men admitted the charge.

It was the climax of Operation Sheratan investigation into the raids which took place between October 1, 2014 and December, 15, 2014.

The court heard how the men - who were mostly from Southampton - carried out a string of high value commercial burglaries and low value thefts, using sophisticated methods to evade capture from the police.

This included regularly changing cars, number plates, phones and clothes worn during the burglaries.

The raids included burglaries on November 17 and 18 at Pandora in Bournemouth where £1,800 of jewellery was stolen and £30,000 worth of equipment seized from Castle Cameras in Salisbury.

In a raid at Castle Cameras in Bournemouth £45,000 worth of equipment was stolen on November 22.

More than £10,000 of jewellery was stolen from Ernest Jones in The Arndale Shopping Centre where CCTV showed two men smashing display cabinets on December 5.

Family run jewellers Charmed in Bournemouth was also broken into and £70,000 of jewellery stolen.

In a previous hearing prosecutor Adam Feest told the court it was a "sophisticated conspiracy" involving burglaries adding up to £220,000,

He said: "This conspiracy involves experienced career burglars who have all known each other for a significant amount of time, each of them to a different degree was fully aware they were changing vehicles, changing phones and clothing and also during the course of each incident keeping telephone communications between themselves to a minimum to avoid detection."

In mitigation barristers for the men claimed that they were not involved in all of the raids.

Elizabeth Bussey-Jones, representing Matthew Lang, said: "This was a rolling conspiracy with some coming and some going."

Julian Dale, representing Ferooq, said his client had only been involved in the final raid which was an attempted burglary in the Arndale Centre in Eastbourne.

Fardeen Hamidy, 22, of Peartree Avenue, Southampton and James Poole, 22, of Romsey Road, Winchester, were both sentenced to 56 months each in prison.

David Brown, 29, from Romsey Road, Winchester, was sentenced to two years.

Jamie Bellows, 27, of Chafen Road, Southampton, was jailed for 48 months.
Matthew Lang, 28, of George Raymond Road, Eastleigh, was sentenced to a year in prison.

But Jamil Ferooq, 24, of no fixed address and Jamie Jeneway, 23, of Priory Road, were considered to have lesser roles in the conspiracy and given sentences of eight months and of two years respectively - suspended for two years.