Bungling Preston burglary gang caught after posing with stolen car on Facebook picture

Two men and three youngsters who caused misery to residents across Preston have been jailed over a conspiracy to steal vehicles during burglaries.

Dozy criminal Miguel Di Palma and his gang were caught when one of his co-defendants posted a photo on social media of themselves stood next to one of the stolen vehicles.

Bungling yobs pose with stolen car

Bungling yobs pose with stolen car

Another yob broke into a Renault car just to steal a Twix bar.

READ MORE: This is the haul of vehicles and bikes stolen by Preston burglary gang who have just been sentenced by a judge

The gang broke into homes during the early hours of the morning while the victims were in bed asleep.

A probe called Operation Fuel was launched by South Division police after keys were taken during burglaries, and seven vehicles were stolen.

READ MORE: Preston burglar Aiden Craigie was tackled by hero neighbour

Judge Heather Lloyd, sitting at Preston Crown Court, jailed Di Palma, 21, of Brampton Street for 26 months and imposed 27 months and two weeks youth detention for co-defendant Aiden Craigie, 20, of Waterloo Terrace, Ashton, Preston.

The first youth aged 17, received two years and seven months in youth detention, the second 17-year-old got 27 months, and the 15-year-old got 12 months detention.

Preston Crown Court heard the crime spate started on August 21 when a Ford Fiesta was stolen from Higher Bank Road.

It was recovered on August 27 on Dart Street Preston with false plates, and an incriminating bottle inside had Craigie’s DNA on it.

On October 1, a Suzuki Burgman scooter was stolen from Brindle Road, and on October 20, an Alfa Romeo was stolen from Emmanuel Street during a burglary.

Both were recovered on Victoria Parade on October 27 - complete with the fingerprints of Craigie, Di Palma and a 17-year-old defendant.

On November 20, an Audi Q5 was stolen from Pendlebury Close during a burglary, along with a hand bag.

A photo of three defendants stood next to the stolen car was posted on Craigie's Facebook account

On November 21, the car - by now bearing false plates - was involved in a police chase.

The high value Audi was pursued by police officers but they had to abandon the pursuit after it was deemed the manner in which it was driven posed a "very real danger "to members of the public.

After the car was dumped, a bottle was found inside with Di Palma’s DNA on it, along with a milkshake bearing the 15-year-old's DNA. The fingerprints of Di Palma and two youths were also found.

The spree continued on December 4 when a BMW 320ED was stolen from Muirfield Rd during a burglary, along with a wallet and two cash cards, which were used at a Price Check and a One Stop shop on December 4 and 5.

Days later, on December 11, another BMW stolen from Haighton Drive along with a handbag and wallet – again a cashcard had been used at Price Check.

On December 13, the victims of a burglary on Joyce Road, Goosnargh, heard a noise and called the police.

The offenders they left empty handed but left behind a bicycle which they had just been stolen from Whittingham Lane.

They had also broken into a Nissan Leaf nearby and stolen a Twix from a Renault. On the same day, a Ford Transit was stolen from Cumeragh Lane.

The three youths were arrested by police - each had a stolen bike.

Later, one of the BMWs was found on Goosnargh Lane with Craigies’ fingerprints inside and a torch with the 15-year-old's DNA on it.

PC Sam Patel, of South Division burglary team, said: “Lancashire Constabulary welcomes this sentence and are committed to tackling burglary by targeting the offenders and putting them before the courts.

"It is hoped that these sentences handed out today will go some way to providing the victims - who have no doubt suffered financially and emotionally - closure.”

Di Palma and the three youths pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit burglary between August 21 and December 13, and conspiracy to commit thefts between the same dates.

Di Palma and Craigie pleaded guilty to handling stolen goods between August 20 and 28 - Craigie's charge relates to a Ford Fiesta, Alfa Romeo and BMW, while Di Palma's regards an Audi Q5 and Alfa Romeo.

Di Palma also admitted burgling a Rowlands Pharmacy between November 22 and 24.

The two 17-year-olds admitted burglaries on Pendlebury Close, Muirfield Road and Haighton Drive in Preston, and one pleaded guilty to theft of a Ford Fiesta from Higher Bank Road and theft of bicycles.