A MERSEYSIDE burglary gang who smashed their way into homes in Merseyside and Cheshire were put behind bars.
The three men and a youth, all from Wirral, chose their targets carefully, brazenly parking on the driveways of rural homes before crashing through patio and back doors to get inside.
At Chester Crown Court on Friday, Phillip Ainsworth, 23, of Beatrice Avenue, and Michael Thomas Jones, 27, of Juliet Avenue, both Bebington were handed three years each.
Adam Orr, 19, from Solly Avenue, Rock Ferry, was imprisoned for 18 months while a 17-year-old youth from Birkenhead, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was given a youth referral order and 180 hours unpaid work.
They all admitted their parts in a dozen break-ins across Bromborough, Willaston, Neston, Hooton, Helsby, Frodsham and rural Chester.
It is estimated they got away with a haul worth as much as £100,000.
When detectives began seeing a specific pattern to a string of burglaries, all committed around 11am-noon when the homes were empty, all entered through the back and houses completely ransacked, they began to look at known crooks in the area.
Among the houses burgled was that of a 42-year-old widow in Bromborough.
Among the sentimental jewellery stolen was her engagement ring, eternity rings, her late-husband’s wedding ring and a unique diamond snowflake necklace.