Two professional burglars who raided golf clubs across the country including one in Morecambe have been jailed.
Daniel Lloyd and Joe McCaughey posed as golfers and brazenly raided lockers while clubhouses were open for business.
They targeted Morecambe golf club on September 2, 2009, conning their way into the locker room and using an instrument to force open three lockers and stealing several hundred pounds worth of golf equipment.
They were responsible for at least 36 separate burglaries in 17 counties, including four in Lancashire in a single day, some of which were caught on CCTV. The pair came to the attention of the National Crime Agency (NCA) following an investigation into a corrupt criminal defence lawyer who was sentenced last year for perverting the course of justice. Lloyd was one of the lawyer’s close associates and was arrested at the time.
When officers searched Lloyd’s home they found evidence on his computer of internet searches for golf club thefts, locker security and lock picking.
Further investigation revealed that Lloyd and McCaughey were in fact the subjects of a wanted appeal by police which featured on BBC’s Crimewatch in 2010.
At the time police had asked for information on two men they believed had struck 60 times while clubhouses were open for business by posing as golfers and brazenly raiding lockers.
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.”
Although evidence relating to 36 golf clubs burglaries was used during the trial, officers believe Lloyd and McCaughey were responsible for many more and could have raided up to a 1,000 lockers and stolen equipment worth over £750,000.
Daniel Lloyd, 43, of the Holwood Estate, Westerham Road, Keston, and Joe McCaughey, aged 26, of King Henry’s Drive, New Addington, Croydon, were found guilty of conspiracy to burgle following a three-week trial at Birmingham Crown Court.
They received five and three years respectively.