A man from Golders Green who stole £150,000 in a spate of burglaries across the capital has been jailed and could face deportation.

Bekim Sokoli, 36, of Golders Green Crescent, was part of an eight-man gang who targeted commercial properties including restaurants and bookmakers in London and the Home Counties.

Usually operating in the hours of darkness, the burglars would arrive via a rear service road and disable alarms before gaining access to the property using power tools or brute force.

Several of them would keep lookout until the safes were loaded into their vehicle using specialist lifting equipment.

But Sokoli was caught red-handed while breaking into a property in Surrey with three other men last February. All four were arrested and following further analysis of the offences, their accomplices were also arrested.

Officers believe the group carried out regular burglaries – more than one per week between December 2011 and March 2012.

Sokoli was found guilty at Harrow Crown Court on Monday January 7 and was sentenced to three years in prison. In total the gang members, who are orginally from Albania or Kosova, were sentenced to a total of 34 years. 

Detective Sergeant Graeme Simpson said: “We will now work with UKBA to identify immigration offences and where appropriate get them deported after their sentences."