Gang boss James Roche, of Felham, stripped of £100,000 assets
A modern day Fagin-style criminal has been stripped of £100,000 of his assets.
James Roche, of Walsham Road, Feltham, was found guilty of conspiracy to burgle and jailed for five years last November for the pivotal role he played in directing a burglary gang.
By day Roche, 37, worked as a HGV mechanic but a financial investigation by police and the Crown Prosecution Service revealed assets of £470,000.
At a confiscation hearing at Guildford Crown Court last Thursday it was ruled that Roche had benefited from his criminal activities.
The court ordered that £100,000 of Roche's assets be seized under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
Roche had run a gang, most of whose members were teenage boys, identifing luxury cars and addresses to be burgled.
Gang members would break into homes at night and steal key fobs for cars parked on the driveways.
Electronic items such as mobile phones, iPods and laptops were also stolen from the homes. Detectives estimated the value of property stolen was £258,000, although £210,000 worth of goods was subsequently recovered.
Many of the vehicles were fitted with tracker devices and were later found by police.
Detective Inspector Richard Hamlin, of Surrey Police's economic crime unit, said: “It is important for criminals to understand that Surrey Police is determined that crime shall not be seen to pay in Surrey.
"It requires detailed financial investigation but this is clearly worthwhile when a large sum such as this is recovered.” The gang’s activities came to light in 2008.
It sparked a full-scale investigation by Surrey Police.
A series of dawn raids were carried out in September 2008 resulting in stolen property being recovered at addresses across north Surrey, Feltham, Isleworth and Wokingham.
Nine gang members, including Roche, were convicted and sentenced in 2009.