A GANG sentenced this week to a total of 25 years for burglaries may have raided as many as 300 homes across the Thames Valley, it has been claimed.

The gang admitted involvement in 25 burglaries in the Home Counties over an 18 month period up until August last year. Six were jailed at Blackfriars Crown Court on Monday.

Detective Sergeant Mike Wallen, of High Wycombe Police, who spent a year investigating the gang admitted after the case they could have been responsible for hundreds of break-ins across the area.

He said: "We reinvestigated 80 burglaries in our investigation and there were 58 burglaries in the conspiracy count they were first charged with.

"I really think they have committed 300 burglaries in the last two years in Thames Valley."

Blackfriars Crown Court heard the gang stole high performance cars from driveways in Amersham, the Chalfonts and Gerrards Cross, as well as cash and jewellery.

For 18 months the gang, calling themselves the Hayes Massive, would speed out of London and raid homes in Surrey, Buckinghamshire and Berkshire.

Their total haul was worth more than £1 million.

The gang's crime spree was only stopped when officers tailed them back to London after they drove off in a BMW X5 worth £55,000 from a drive in Highlands Road, Amersham in August last year.

DS Wallen said: "We watched them lay the car down.

"They would park the car up somewhere and they would come back to them in a day or two in case there was a tracker device fitted to the car.

"If the car had not been moved they would move the car on.

"As they parked the car they went across the road and they were arrested in Burger King in Hayes."

The gang frequently posed for photographs after they snatched the cars.

James Wooden, 18, James Rafferty, 21, Daniel O'Leary, 18, Shaun Nedd, 22, Justin Palmer, 22, and 24-year-old twins Derek and David Augustine admitted involvement in 25 burglaries across the Home Counties, 12 of which were in south Bucks.

DS Wallen, who was praised by the judge together with other investigating officers, said: "Mr Wooden was the most prolific and he left the most evidence behind. He was the one involved in most of the offences.

"Wooden was champing at the bit to do the job. I think he was quite happy to do the burglary.

"He was quite cocky with it really."

Six houses in Gerrards Cross were hit by the gang, including two neighbours in North Park on the same night.

Other homes in Gerrards Cross in Woodbank Avenue, Oxford Road, Woodlands and High Beeches were also raided.

Jailing the gang Judge Deva Pillai told them: "The burglaries were and are in my judgement the work of a ruthless, committed and focused gang who would have been prepared to use physical prowess should the occasion have demanded."

He added: "The emotional and traumatic distress which these burglaries caused your victims apparently completely evaded your consciences."

Rafferty and the Augustine brothers were jailed for five years and Wooden was sentenced to five years in a young offenders' institution.

Palmer was jailed for three years and accomplice O'Leary was jailed for two.

Nedd, who claimed he had not taken part in any of the burglaries but only been there on the night when they were arrested, was given 200 hours community service.