Two men who posed as workmen to carry out a series of commercial burglaries across London – including the theft of more than quarter of a million pounds from a bank – has been sentenced.

Jason Perry, 48, of Clover Court in Waltham Forest, was involved in six burglaries across London, including the theft of more than £200,000 from a bank in Whitechapel.

He pleaded guilty at Snaresbrook Crown Court today and was sentenced to eight years in jail.

His accomplice Paul Thompson, 50, of Carlisle Avenue, Ealing pleaded guilty for his involvement in four burglaries between August and September 2019.

The two men used various techniques to carry out the crimes, including posing as workmen to open manhole covers and cut alarm cables.

They also wore face masks in a bid to hide their identities and used walkie talkies to communicate while on site.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

Paul Thompson wearing a mask (photo: Met Police)

The court heard that police were called on the morning of July 1 in 2019 to reports of the bank in Whitechapel being broken into.

Around £210,039 was stolen after the two cut into five cash machines.

CCTV on June 28 , 2019 identified Perry supervising an unidentified man into a manhole outside of the bank. They then returned to a white Ford transit van.

The two then returned to the bank and entered a building site next door after making a hole in the wall.

They were then seen on CCTV going back and forth between the bank and the van and carrying bags, before driving away at around 1am.

As police continued their investigations, Perry continued with further burglaries – three of which were carried out alongside Thompson.

The offences include:

• Breaking into a supermarket on Lea Bridge Road in August 2019 and stealing £2,500 worth of alcohol.

• Stealing £5,500 cash and other items from a shop on Rom Valley Way on August 13.

• Stealing £1,000 cash and other items from a shop on Ravenside Retail Park on August 27.

• Stealing £4,300 worth of items from a shop on Rom Valley Way on August 26 / 27.

• Attempting to break into a bank on High Road, Ilford on September 1 / 2 with Thompson.

Police say Perry was arrested at Leyton Leisure Centre on September 15, after they forced the fire doors open.

Thompson fled from officers but was arrested at 4.45am the next day.

A search at Perry’s home found many stolen items and cash.

Detective Constable David Reed, from the Met’s Flying Squad, said: “Both Perry and Thompson are career burglars who targeted multiple businesses over the course of four months, causing significant losses.

“The offences were carefully planned and included accessing manhole covers to cut cables in order to disable CCTV and alarm systems.

“Despite this, as a direct result of a proactive operation led by the Met’s Flying Squad, strong evidence was obtained connecting them to these crimes leaving them little choice but to admit their involvement.

“Had they not been caught, I am certain they would have gone onto commit further offences and they are now rightly behind bars where they belong.”

Metropolitan Police explained Thompson also previously pleaded guilty to stealing a car from Lemna Road in Leytonstone in September 2019.