Published: 00:01, 11 October 2017
Homes were ransacked and thousands of pounds of property stolen when two thieves embarked on a burglary spree, a court heard.
Nicusor Vasile and Marius Eheorghe, both 27 and Romanian, broke into nine properties in Rainham and attempted to break into another house.
There was also a burglary in Essex.
The pair admitted conspiracy to burgle and were sentenced to three years’ prison each.
Vasile’s wife Allna Zbircea, 25, admitted involvement in one burglary.
She pawned some of the stolen property.
Another man, Vasilica Radu, 33, admitted handling a £700 Tag Heuer watch stolen in one of the burglaries.
Radu was sentenced to nine months' imprisonment and Zbircea to six months' imprisonment suspended for 18 months.
She will have to complete 180 hours of unpaid work.
A judge told them: “The sense of violation and deep distress caused is immense.
“The impact is distressing and profound. There was a reckless, arrogant and profound disregard of victims.”
Maidstone Crown Court heard Eheorghe had only been in the UK a month when he and Vasile committed the string of offences in January.
Prosecutor Gavin Pottinger said they travelled from Ilford in Essex, where they all lived, to break into homes in Eastling Close, Fetherby Road,
Elmfield Road, Danson Way, Lower Rainham Road, Beechings Way and Dorset Square, and attempted to burgle a house in Bedford Road.
One victim complained her late husband’s ashes had been “disturbed” and about £10,000 of property was stolen.
Mr Pottinger said it was not possible to quantify the total loss to victims but another loser estimated that £11,000 of property taken.
Only a small amount of the property was recovered – some from Vasile and Zbircea’s home.
“Tens of thousands of pounds worth are still outstanding,” said Mr Pottinger.
The burglars forced open doors and made “untidy searches”.
In one home, drawers were thrown across the room.
“The sense of violation and deep distress caused is immense" - Judge Julian Smith
Passing sentence, Judge Julian Smith said: “Searches of the property were aggressive and determined and it comes close to ransacking.
“It was a two-week period of busy and highly rewarding and serious offending.
“You were arrested in a car equipped with crowbars and screwdrivers - all you needed to commit burglary.
“Distress and anxiety was caused by the invasion of victims’ homes.
“The impact of burglary is not simply financial.”
Vasile appeared to be pleased with the sentence he received.
The judge commented he had “punched the air” and looked delighted.
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