TWO men were jailed on Monday after admitting conspiring to commit burglaries at more than 30 homes across the South East, including properties in Alresford.

Karolis Gribauskas, 20, and Ernestaus Vitkus, 22, both of Listowel Road, Dagenham, London, were each jailed for a total of six years and eight months after appearing at Winchester Crown Court.

The men had each admitted a charge of conspiring to commit burglary at a previous hearing.

Gribauskas and Vitkus were part of a conspiracy that saw 32 burglaries committed across the South East between May 1 and November 27 last year, the court was told.

The burglaries took place at homes in Alresford, Andover, Basingstoke, Farnborough and Winchester in Hampshire, as well as at properties in Surrey, Sussex and the Thames Valley.

The court heard that both men were part of a gang that snapped locks on doors of homes that were vulnerable or where the occupants were away on holiday.

It is thought the total value of property stolen by the gang totalled thousands of pounds.

The men were brought to justice after an investigation by the Northern Operation Hawk team, which was set up to identify, arrest and charge burglary suspects, gather intelligence and recover stolen property.

After the hearing, Detective Sergeant James Massey said: “The offenders, who were living in east London, were identified as a result of a joint investigation between Hampshire Constabulary, Surrey Police and Sussex Police.

“Hampshire Constabulary led this complex and worthwhile investigation that led to the recovery of thousands of pounds worth of property. There are still a number of seized items that have not been identified but are believed to be stolen.

“The guilty pleas and subsequent sentences should provide reassurance and peace of mind to the victims who suffered a traumatic experience and, in some cases, lost sentimental valuables that have been irreplaceable.

“We will continue to strive to make our communities safe places to live and provide a dedicated response to these complex investigations.”