TWO men who posed as workmen to carry out a spate of burglaries across London are beginning jail sentences.

Paul Thompson, 50, of Carlisle Avenue, Ealing, was sentenced to three years by Snaresbrook Crown Court after pleading guilty to four burglaries between August and September last year.

Jason Perry, 48, of Waltham Forest, was sentenced to eight years for his involvement in six raids, including the theft of £200,000 from a bank.

The two used a number of techniques to carry out their crimes, including posing as workmen, to open manhole covers and cut alarm cables.

They also wore face masks in a bid to hide their identities and used walkie-talkies to communicate while on site.

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They were already under police surveillance when they were seen outside Leyton Leisure Centre in East London at around 10pm in September lifting up a manhole cover outside and cutting cables inside.

CCTV also showed Thompson approaching the doors to the leisure centre, with Perry looking on.

They left the scene but returned that night when they forced open the fire exit doors.

Perry was arrested at the scene and Thompson, who fled from officers, was arrested later.

Det Con David Reed, of the Met’s Flying Squad, said they were career burglars who targeted a number of businesses over the course of four months, causing significant losses.

“Had they not been caught, I am certain they would have gone on to commit further offences and they are now rightly behind bars where they belong,” he added.