“Despicable” gang invaded golf clubs in the northeast

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A GANG of burglars was jailed after stealing thousands of pounds from three Northeast golf clubs.

Clubs in County Durham and Northumberland were targeted last year by Robert Wall, James Wall, and John Croft, who had their sights set on high-quality prey.

The trio took advantage of the Covid lockdown and took their first move on the 2nd around £ 16,000 of shares.

Three days later, they broke into Chester-le-Street Golf Club with a hammer, which officers later found at the scene.

Loot of historical trophies, including the Hermitage Cup from 1912, was stolen, devastating the club owners on the ground.

On April 22nd, they broke through a gate and then backed a truck through the front of the Ponteland Golf Club’s golf shop.

Once inside, they took 20,000 pounds of equipment with them before escaping the scene.

Police arrested the trio on June 13 following a joint operation by Durham and Northumbria police.

Robert Wall, 32, of Stamforham Road, Newcastle, admitted a burglary plot in connection with one of the raids and two stolen property offenses and was sentenced on 17 September to two years in prison.

John Croft, without a permanent residence, also appeared next to him at Newcastle Crown Court, where he admitted a plot to break-in and dangerous driving after ramming a van into a police car and injuring an officer.

He also admitted extortion, had an offensive weapon, and quarreling. He spent a total of seven years and ten months in prison.

James Wall of Cornhill, East Denton, pleaded guilty to the burglary plot and was sentenced to 43 months in prison.

Detective Chris Forster said, “We were able to bring a strong case to court that left these despicable men no choice but to admit their guilt.”

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