Burglars who posed with jewellery jailed for raid on celebrity chef’s UK home

Burglars who posed with jewellery jailed for raid on celebrity chef’s UK home

Four South American burglary gang members have been jailed for a raid on chef Marcus Wareing’s multimillion-pound home in the UK.

Danko Carvajal-Donaire, 20, Claudio Donoso, 20, Nicolas Portilla Astorga, 27, and Jorge Rojas, 22, broke into the Michelin-starred restaurateur’s house in south-west London in October last year.

The Chilean nationals had flown into the UK purely to commit the crime, a tactic used by gang bosses because foreign thieves are harder to catch.

They were caught four days after the raid on Wareing’s Wimbledon home, apparently on their way to another burglary equipped with gloves, torches, a screwdriver and a glass-breaker.

The four men have each been jailed for 40 months (Metropolitan Police/PA)
The four men have each been jailed for 40 months (Metropolitan Police/PA)

Officers from Surrey Police stopped their black Honda HR-V in Redhill and alerted the Met.

Investigators discovered that two of them – Carvajal-Donaire and Portilla-Astorga – had photographed themselves wearing some of the stolen jewellery, while Rojas was wearing a distinctive necklace, also taken from Wareing’s home, at the time of his arrest.

The Metropolitan Police said the men were each sentenced to 40 months in jail at Kingston Crown Court on Tuesday.

Acting Detective Sergeant Harry Doyle said: “This case concerns organised criminals entering the UK for the sole purpose of committing high-value burglary offences.

“Due to the rapid identification of their criminal methods, the robust response by colleagues in Surrey Police and the thoroughness of the subsequent investigation, these offenders are now safely behind bars.”

Mr Wareing, who is a judge on BBC show MasterChef: The Professionals, praised police for their handling of the case.

He said: “We are pleased that the men have been caught and would like to thank the Wimbledon police for assisting us during this time.

“They made us feel safe and secure again in our home and were utterly brilliant.”

The Metropolitan Police’s investigation, known as Operation Genie, began after a spate of burglaries in south-west London and Surrey in 2017.

Typically, the thieves targeted unoccupied addresses situated in rural areas, often near parks or golf courses.

Investigators believe a South American criminal network is behind hundreds of similar crimes.

It was reported in the Evening Standard that the thieves marked Wareing’s back fence with a small circle of orange paint to show his home was a target.

More on this topic

Judge anxious for homeless man who suffered burns from tent being set alight in recent 'bad beating'Judge anxious for homeless man who suffered burns from tent being set alight in recent 'bad beating'

HSE 'in the dark' as man with acquired brain injury challenges High Court's wardship jurisdictionHSE 'in the dark' as man with acquired brain injury challenges High Court's wardship jurisdiction

Girl, 7, secures €5.8m interim settlement over care at the time of her birthGirl, 7, secures €5.8m interim settlement over care at the time of her birth

Insolvency practitioner ordered to pay two thirds of his fee in costs after giving misleading information about client's incomeInsolvency practitioner ordered to pay two thirds of his fee in costs after giving misleading information about client's income

More in this Section

450 jobs to go as BBC cuts news services including 5Live and Newsnight450 jobs to go as BBC cuts news services including 5Live and Newsnight

Two more accusers to testify against Harvey WeinsteinTwo more accusers to testify against Harvey Weinstein

Man accused of killing British police officer asks for trial to be in PakistanMan accused of killing British police officer asks for trial to be in Pakistan

Boeing posts first annual loss since 1997Boeing posts first annual loss since 1997


Lifestyle

The duo are hosting a new Netflix competition show, putting designers through their paces.Next In Fashion: Why Alexa Chung and Tan France are style icons

Fresh water no filter: #instagood.The 10 most Instagrammed lakes in the world

A stay at tranquil hideaway The Residence is an indulgent way to unwind, rest and recuperate, says Sophie Goodall.Why this luxurious Turkish resort is the ultimate sanctuary for wellness and relaxation

The benefits of cutting down on booze can last way beyond the new year. Lauren Taylor finds out more about strategies to help make the change stick.Beyond Dry January: Is it time to reassess our relationship with alcohol in the longer term?

More From The Irish Examiner