A GANG of burglars who stole a Lexus car and thousands of pounds worth of electrical goods and jewellery in Chester have been jailed for nearly eight years.

The men committed a string of burglaries across Cheshire and Merseyside between mid June and August 4 this year.

Phillip Ainsworth, 23, of Beatrice Avenue in Bebington, and Micheal Thomas Jones, 27, of Juliet Avenue in Bebington were both handed three years behind bars at Chester Crown Court on Friday.

Adam Orr, 19, from Solly Avenue, Rock Ferry, was imprisoned for 18 months, and a 17-year-old from Birkenhead was handed a Youth Referral Order that incorporates 180 hours unpaid work.

A series of warrants were executed at addresses across Merseyside on Thursday, August 4 and the men were arrested and charged with burglary.

The arrests came on the day the team committed a burglary at a house in Hargrave, Chester, when a high value Lexus car and thousands of pounds worth of electrical goods and jewellery were stolen.

During the course of the investigation, it became clear that the team were responsible for 11 other high value burglaries across the region.

Detective inspector Sharon Case, who heads up the Proactive Policing Team for the Western Area, said: “These men showed a blatant disregard for the law, coupled with a degree of arrogance and contempt for our communities by instilling fear within their victims and causing them to no longer feel safe in their own home.

“We hope that the success of this operation and the prison sentences that these men have been handed will reassure these victims and the public of Cheshire that we are actively targeting and successfully prosecuting those individuals who commit burglary offences and seek to put our communities in fear.”

Four men and a woman, also from Merseyside, were charged with handling stolen goods and will stand trial at Chester Crown Court in March 2012.