Family gang jailed for train station thefts

THREE relatives have been jailed for a total of almost eight years after stealing more than �16,000 from railway ticket machines in Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire and Essex.

Mark Loveridge, 34, from Cople in Bedfordshire, his stepson Murphy Loveridge, 19, also of Cople, and his brother Albey Loveridge, 42, of Biggleswade, also caused �440,000 in damage in their spree, which stretched from July 2008 until March 2009.

A four year sentence was given to Mark Loveridge at Cambridge Crown Court, Murphy Loveridge was given 10 months in a youth detention centre, while Albey Loveridge was sentenced to three years. All three pleaded guilty to conspiracy to steal.

Stations in Crow Country targeted by the trio included Royston, Meldreth and Foxton, while Waterbeach, Whittlesford, Littleport and Audley End were also hit.

Under Operation Tapestry, British Transport Police detectives had investigated 57 reported offences of break-ins at stations – thought to be the highest number of offences of this type committed by one criminal gang.

Investigating officer, Detective Sergeant Craig Payne, said: “This family’s exploits caused misery for thousands of passengers and left a trail of destruction that the train operators had to repair.”

“Although the Loveridges were highly organised, they were also extremely greedy and it was this trait that led to their downfall.

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“Their inability to stop thieving meant that the few clues they left behind eventually caught up with them in the form of a very compelling file of evidence.”

The Loveridges were pictured on CCTV on several occasions, and forensics was used to catch the gang.