Men charged after robbery spree

THREE men and a youth have been charged in connection with a spree of armed robberies and burglaries across East Anglia.Norfolk police charged the four with a number of offences in relation to more than 30 crimes committed between August 18, 2007, and February 7, 2008, at villages throughout Norfolk and Suffolk as well as in Cambridgeshire, Lincolnshire and Oxfordshire.

Dave Gooderham

THREE men and a youth have been charged in connection with a spree of armed robberies and burglaries across East Anglia.

Norfolk police charged the four with a number of offences in relation to more than 30 crimes committed between August 18, 2007, and February 7, 2008, at villages throughout Norfolk and Suffolk as well as in Cambridgeshire, Lincolnshire and Oxfordshire.

James Curtis, 47, and James Walter Curtis, 25, both of Mill Field, Littleport, Cambs, Charles Lee, 43, of St Neots and a 17-year-old male from the Littleport area were arrested following inquiries by Norfolk's major investigation team and charged with the raft of offences on Thursday evening.

The charges included conspiracy to commit robbery with firearms, conspiracy to commit robbery, conspiracy to commit aggravated burglary, conspiracy to commit burglary and conspiracy to commit theft of motor vehicles.

All four were in custody last night awaiting a preliminary hearing at King's Lynn Magistrates' Court on Thursday May 1.

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A massive police manhunt was sparked last summer after an initial spate of 12 armed robberies. The investigation involved armed response teams and dog units from Norfolk and neighbouring police forces.

The offences to which the charges relate include: aggravated burglary in Chestnut Avenue, Welney, on August 18, 2007; armed robbery at the Comfort Inn, Thetford Road, Northwold, on August 29; armed robbery at Birchfield Road, Nordelph, on September 10; armed robbery at the Causeway, Stow Bridge, on September 13; armed robbery at Vong Lane, Pott Row, on September 14; armed robbery at New Road, North Runcton, on September 15; armed robbery at Begdale Road, Elm, Wisbech, on September 16; armed robbery at Back Drove, Upwell, on September 16; armed robbery at Lynn Road, Wereham, on September 17; armed robbery at Weeting Bowls Club, near Brandon, on September 24; armed robbery at Castle Acre Post Office on November 21; armed robbery at Railway Store, Bridge Road, Sutton Bridge, on November 22; armed robbery at a post office on the Wootton Estate, Oxfordshire, on November 26; burglary at Great Ellingham on December 1; theft of a motor vehicle in Mattishall on December 3; theft of a motor vehicle in Watton on December 4; theft of a motor vehicle in Stowmarket on December 5; burglary at Rickinghall, near Bury St Edmunds, on December 5; burglary at Methwold, near Thetford, on December 12; burglary at Foulden on December 12; robbery at Bridge Road, Stoke Ferry, on December 12; burglary at Gayton Road, Gayton, on December 15; burglary at Stow Bridge on December 23; burglary at Shouldham on January 7, 2008; burglary at West Dereham on January 7; burglary at Shouldham on January 10; two burglaries at Methwold on January 18; two burglaries at Southery on January 19; and aggravated burglary at Tilney St Lawrence on February 7.

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