Four burglars have been sentenced after admitting breaking into a Gravesend house and using an imitation firearm to threaten the residents in order to steal cash, jewellery and valuable items.
Duad Rrapi, Michael Chambers, Satnam Singh and a 17-year-old boy targeted the family home in December 2016 and threatened to stab the victim’s children if they did not get what they wanted.
They left the scene with a quantity of cash, jewellery and watches but officers from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate were able to unravel their crime by analysing CCTV, Number Plate Recognition cameras and mobile phone records.
They were sentenced Maidstone Crown Court on Tuesday 22 August 2017 and Wednesday 23 August 2017. They had each previously pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary.
The court heard that CCTV captured the four offenders near the home of the victims, in Dogwood Close, at 10.15pm on 1 December.
They were seen walking around the front, side and rear of the property before two of them knocked on the front door, receiving no answer.
They continued to survey the area and were seen by witnesses to be paying particular attention to the victim’s address.
The offenders returned to the property at 2.30am on 2 December and climbed through a conservatory window before smashing a glass panel in a kitchen door to gain entry to the house.
Duad Rrapi then went upstairs and entered a bedroom before punching a victim in the face while he was sleeping.
The offenders demanded to know where the victim kept their money. The teenage offender was also standing in the room holding a baseball bat.
The offenders took the victim into another room, where two members of his family were also present.
All of the offenders then demanded to know where the victim’s kept their money, before stuffing items of clothing in into their mouths to stop them shouting.
As this was going on, two of the victims were then hit around the head with an imitation gun.
Eventually the offenders were told where the victim’s kept their money and other valuables, such as gold jewellery and watches.
The offenders then tied three of the victims to a bannister on their landing, leaving another untied in a separate room.
CCTV captured each of the offenders running along Durndale Lane, towards Mulberry Road, before getting into a Honda CRV at 2.54am.
Enquiries revealed this had headed towards Maidstone and it was found on fire in Claygate Road, Marden, shortly before 6am.
The car was completely destroyed, however officers’ enquiries found the vehicle had stopped at the Tollgate Service Station prior to committing the burglary.
CCTV footage showed the car being re-fuelled and the offenders purchasing items from the store.
Chambers was identified as the driver of the vehicle and was arrested on 19 January 2017.
Satnam Singh was then arrested on 24 January 2017. He was detained at his home address and a search of his room found his clothes matched the items he was wearing on the night of the burglary. A small quantity of cannabis and cocaine were also found along with an imitation firearm.
Duad Rrapi and the 17-year-old boy were also identified from the images and arrested on 20 March and 5 April respectively.
Duad Rrapi, 18 and of no fixed address, was sentenced to eight years after pleading guilty to one count of aggravated burglary. He was also sentenced to five years for an unrelated burglary in the London area.
Michael Chambers, 31 and of no fixed address, was sentenced to nine years after pleading guilty to one count of aggravated burglary. He was also sentenced to seven years for unrelated theft offences and will serve a further two years on an extended licence.
Satnam Singh, 18 and of Maplethorpe Road in Thornton Heath, was sentenced to 10 years after pleading guilty to one count of aggravated burglary. He was also sentenced to five years after pleading guilty to possessing an imitation firearm and this will be served concurrently. He also admitted possessing cocaine and cannabis with intent to supply and and received a three month concurrent sentence.
A 17-year-old boy from Streatham was sentenced to six years and eight months after pleading guilty to one count of aggravated burglary and possessing an imitation firearm. He also admitted possessing cocaine and cannabis with intent to supply.
Detective Constable Alan Poulton, the investigating officer for this case, said: ‘This was a violent and incredibly terrifying burglary that has had a huge impact on the victims.
‘These four offenders have made them feel vulnerable, and fearful, in their own home – a place where they should feel safe.
‘This was a planned attack against innocent members of the public and shows these four men present a very real danger to society.
‘Although this type of crime is extremely rare, members of the public should feel assured that Kent Police has the resources and expertise to relentlessly pursue offenders involved in organised crime and bring them to justice.’