Prolific thieves who posed as workmen to dupe elderly people have been jailed for distraction burglaries across London.

The group of four men drove different vehicles in order to commit 22 burglaries in a period of just over two months stealing more than £50,000 of cash and jewellery from unsuspecting home owners.

They targeted homes in Barnet, Brent, Colindale, Islington, Ealing, Enfield, Hounslow, Greenwich and Tower Hamlets.

They were finally intercepted in a pub in Cricklewood after they forensically cleansed and abandoned their last ‘mission’ vehicle.

Det Supt Simon Moring, from the Met’s Flying Squad unit, said: “This investigation focused on a prolific team of burglars who specifically targeted the elderly and vulnerable.

"They posed as legitimate workmen, enabling them to enter the homes of their victims. Some of the property they stole had sentimental value and is irreplaceable.”

They were jailed on April 4 after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit burglary at Harrow Crown Court. 

John Casey, 43, of Kingfisher Lane, Billingshurst, West Sussex was sentenced to eight years and six months’ imprisonment.

Michael Casey, 47, also of Kingfisher Lane received seven years and nine months.

Martin Moloney, 42, of North Road, West Drayton was sentenced to five years and four months and Sean McGoldrick, 50, of Pinewood Road, Iver was jailed for six years and six months.

An investigation was launched after detectives identified a series of artifice burglaries which occurred between January 17 and March 29 last year, Scotland Yard said.

Each time one of the suspects would knock at the door of an elderly occupier and introduce themselves, then engage in conversation with the occupant and enter the house to look for plumbing issues.

They then asked the householder to remove items form under the sink in order to distract them.

The others would then enter premises and search for cash, jewellery, watches and gold.

John Casey would wait outside in the car ready to make their escape.

On March 29 2022 John Casey, Michael Casey and Martin Maloney were arrested having been observed by police visiting an address of an elderly person.

Subsequent enquiries confirmed distraction techniques to steal cash from within the premises.

McGoldrick was arrested a few days later and all four were charged.

In total the men stole £39,695 worth of jewellery, often from Asian families.

These included engagement rings and family heirlooms.

The bulk of the losses came from a single offence in west London, where £23,720 of jewellery made up of gold and jewelled rings, bangles and earrings were stolen.

They also stole £13,340 cash.

Det Sup Moring, thanked members of the public who provided information and CCTV footage and also to all officers and staff working on the case.

He added: “They were sophisticated in their offending and forensically aware. They frequently changed vehicles to evade capture."