Gang of burglars put behind bars

images of the gang of burglars who have been put behind bars

A gang of burglars have been sent to prison for a combined total of ten years and five months following two burglaries in Epsom and Wimbledon earlier this year.

Eric Ruben, 29, Rodrigo Castellon, 37, Diego Dias, 38 and Armando Nunez Reiveriara, 33, were sentenced at Guildford Crown Court on Tuesday (4 July), after pleading guilty to all charges.

The first burglary occurred in Epsom on 29 January, when the group were seen jumping over someone’s fence. Officers were called to the scene and noticed a car acting suspiciously nearby.

They pursued the car, which was stopped in Croydon, and found Ruben, Castellon and Dias inside the vehicle in possession of a rucksack full of jewellery and cash, as well as balaclavas and tools which were suspected of being used to break into houses.

Enquiries later identified the owner of the recovered property who lived at an address close to where the men had fled in Epsom. The owner had been on holiday at the time of the burglary, but later found that a rear glass window at his home had been smashed.

Whilst Dias was on bail for committing the Epsom burglary, he targeted another home in Wimbledon on 22 February. The occupant came home to find two men in her home before running to a neighbour’s house to get help.

CCTV later showed Dias and Reiveriara scoping out the house before jumping over a side gate to enter the property.

Reiveriara was arrested whilst attempting to flee the scene before being charged and remanded into custody in Surrey.

Following his arrest, a second get-away vehicle was seized and found to contain jewellery stolen from the Wimbledon address.

Dias was arrested a few days later at an address he shared with Castellon. Inside the address officers found tools, balaclavas, gold and diamond testing kits, and packaged stolen jewellery ready to be shipped to South America. Both men were subsequently charged with burglary related offences and remanded into custody.

It wasn’t long before the last of the four was also arrested. On 3 March, Ruben was stopped in Dover trying to exit the UK. He was also remanded into custody.

The court heard that the men had entered the country illegally and were sending stolen items back to their home country Chile.

Sentencing the four men, His Honour Judge Black commented: “I entertain no doubt that the four of you operated as a gang and had equipped yourselves to undertake burglaries and thefts.”

He continued: “Thus I conclude, and I am sure, that you were each a member of an organised crime group who but for being arrested and remanded in custody would have continued with similar criminal activity.

“The seriousness of dwelling house burglary lies not only with the invasion of a person’s home and the taking of their property but largely the psychological harm caused to homeowners who often after such a burglary feel insecure and nervous to be in their own home.”

T/Detective Inspector Tom Griffin, who led the investigation, said: “Burglary is an incredibly distressing crime for victims, who should have every right to feel safe and secure in their own homes.

“I am pleased that following a tireless investigation, all four men are now behind bars and have been stopped from committing further offences. I hope that this provides some sense of justice for the victims.”

Sentencing breakdown:

Eric Ruben, 29, DOB 21/04/94, of no fixed address, was sentenced to two years and five months’ imprisonment.

Rodrigo Castellon, 37, DOB 02/09/85, of no fixed address, was sentenced to two years and five months’ imprisonment.

Diego Dias, 38, DOB 18/06/85, of no fixed address, was sentenced to two years and five months’ imprisonment.

Armando Nunez Reiveriara, 33, DOB 06/12/89, of no fixed address, was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment.

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