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Thursday, June 13, 2024

Gym locker raiders sentenced for “wicked conspiracy”

A couple has been convicted for stealing bank and SIM cards from gym-goers’ lockers.

Ashley Singh (39) and Sophie Bruyea (20), both of Widmore Road, Bromley, would visit gyms and, while victims were exercising, Singh would rifle through their lockers.

The pair would then max out their victims’ credit cards on expensive tech and designer gear, before selling them on and using the cash to buy bags, shoes, holidays and a pedigree puppy.

Meanwhile their victims had money drained from their accounts, couldn’t use their phones, and suffered huge stress and financial loss.

After a meticulous investigation, Met officers linked them to all the thefts.

Horrible crime

DC Luis Martins Da Silva said: “We know Londoners are worried about theft. It’s a horrible crime, and it causes a lot of stress, pain, and financial loss. That’s why we take this crime seriously and a whole team of us were committed to catching Singh (pictured) and Bruyea.

“You couldn’t fail to be moved by the devastating impact their callous behaviour had on people, and we hope that by catching them this offers victims a little bit of solace. I would urge anyone who has had something stolen to get in touch, because we do want to drive down this crime and go after those who target the public.

“We will now look to forfeit the proceeds of their crimes to try and help compensate those who went through this.”

“Wicked conspiracy”

The pair’s spree was noticed by a diligent local officer, who noticed a pattern and flagged it to detectives who are experts in economic crime.

The Lewisham-based team painstakingly traced the pair’s phones, cars, and faces on CCTV and linked them all together. Met officers arrested them at Gatwick Airport on January 27, 2023 in time to catch them as they returned from Paris with 2,000 Euros worth of designer goods.

Eighteen people were targeted in what the judge hailed a “wicked conspiracy”. The judge said the pair’s “wide-ranging spree” meant that those affected no longer felt safe around strangers, or had suffered professionally due to the stress.

There were 18 fraud reports in total, with 14 in the Met area, one from Sussex, one from Hertfordshire and two reports from Cambridgeshire.

Sentencing

Singh and Bruyea were sentenced at Croydon Crown Court on January 10 to conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation between January 2022 and January 2023 with a total value of £250,000.

Singh was sentenced to three years’ behind bars.

Bruyea was sentenced to 20 months at a young offenders’ institute, suspended for two years, a rehabilitation programme and 120 hours unpaid work.

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