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Men charged with car key burglaries

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Drivers with van insurance policies and other car cover can breathe a sigh of relief after a group of men were sentenced following an investigation into a conspiracy to commit car key burglaries in Hertfordshire, London and Essex.

Six men were charged with conspiracy to burgle and handle stolen goods. They all pleaded guilty to the charges and were subsequently convicted at St Albans Crown Court in June.

The sentencing comes as Hertfordshire Police's Operation Scorpion, a new initiative to drive down acquisitive crime and tackle burglars, robbers and vehicle criminals, marks its fifth month in operation.

Car key burglaries, or 'myriapod' burglaries, are where offenders commit burglary to steal car keys and illegally apprehend vehicles.

A 67% drop in car key burglaries in Hertfordshire between April and May of last year coincided with an investigation called Operation Bath.

It was led by Hertfordshire Police's Special Investigations Team and also included officers from the Metropolitan Police and Essex Police.

Officers discovered that the group were targeting addresses and stealing cars to order as they covered 55 house burglaries in Hertfordshire and Essex.

© Press Association 2011