TWO men responsible for a burglary at Faversham golf club have been sentenced for 36 other crimes in golf clubs across 17 counties.
Daniel Lloyd, 43, from Keston, and Joe McCaughey, 26, from Croydon, were found guilty of conspiracy to burgle following a three-week trial at Birmingham Crown Court and given five and three years respectively.
The pair were behind a burglary at the golf club on Belmont Park in October 2009.
They came to the attention of the National Crime Agency after an investigation into a corrupt criminal defence lawyer, a close associate of Lloyd.
When officers searched Lloyd’s home they found evidence on his computer of internet searches for golf club thefts, locker security and lock picking.
BBC’s Crimewatch featured the thefts back in 2010 when police were appealing for information on men they believed were responsible for 60 thefts.
Lloyd and McCaughey would enter the clubs dressed as golfers and gain access to the changing rooms.
They raided lockers after dressing as golfers and gaining access to the changing rooms, stealing clothing and full sets of golf clubs.
Steve Baldwin, NCA Head of Regional Investigations, said: “These men were professional burglars who tried to mask their identities by avoiding CCTV cameras, changing their clothes to enter the same clubs over and over again, and using false number plates on their vehicles.
“When we discovered they were the wanted men from the appeal, the NCA worked with police forces and golf clubs across the country to gather evidence.
“We proved they had stolen equipment from hundreds of golfers, which they disposed of here and overseas. Our focus is now the financial side of the investigation and stripping them of their assets.”
Officers believe Lloyd funded his lifestyle by committing crime as there are no tax records to support his claim that he was a businessman involved in property and car deals.
In addition to his luxury house, which is worth over £800,000, he drove high value vehicles including a Bentley and a Range Rover.
Evidence relating to 36 burglaries was used during the trial, but officers believe Lloyd and McCaughey were responsible for many more.
They estimate they could have raided up to a 1,000 lockers and stolen equipment worth over £750,000.
The main vehicle they used was a Chrysler Grand Voyager which was registered to an address linked to Lloyd.
He sold the vehicle shortly after the Crimewatch programme was aired.
Lloyd and McCaughey raided golf clubs in the following areas: Lancashire, Devon, Somerset, Nottinghamshire, North Yorkshire, Cheshire, Derbyshire, Wiltshire, South Yorkshire, Greater Manchester, Northumbria, Cleveland, Durham, Cumbria, Merseyside, Kent (Faversham and Sheerness) and Suffolk.