Mexican tourists fund British holiday with six-day burglary spree

The group had initially visited the country on tourist visas last October to watch their football heroes

Six Mexican holidaymakers went on a burglary spree across the UK after they ran out of money on a tour of Premier League football stadiums, a court heard yesterday.

They targeted homes in West Lancashire and were also linked to break-ins in Strathclyde in Scotland and Cumbria over a six-day period.

The group had initially visited the country on tourist visas last October as part of their dream to watch their footballing heroes, including Manchester United's Mexican striker, Javier Hernandez, at Old Trafford.

Apart from one married couple, none of the offenders was known to each other before they met in a London nightclub.

Several of them spent too much on alcohol during their stay and their British tour of sporting arenas evolved into an organised-crime operation, Preston Crown Court heard.

They smashed open the front doors of properties and then ransacked bedrooms for jewellery, cash and electrical equipment.

Addresses in Carlisle, Lancaster, Morecambe, Bolton-le-Sands and Strathclyde were targeted while the owners were out between 16 and 21 November last year.

The gang was caught travelling south through Staffordshire after their getaway-vehicle details were flagged up by a member of the public who witnessed one of the raids.

Their haul was recovered, as were papers with lists of addresses and a satellite-navigation system which mapped out their travel route.

A "significant number" of properties in the Strathclyde area were programmed into the equipment.

Police inquiries were ongoing but it was likely that unclaimed stolen goods had come from the Scottish addresses.

Juan Castillo Fernandez, 28, Cuauhtemoc Fernandez Gomez, 30, and Manuel Garcia, 44, were all jailed for two years after admitting conspiracy to commit burglary.

Jose Vargas Gomez, 51, Juan Molina, 24, and Cristina Obregon, 22, were each imprisoned for 14 months after they pleaded guilty to possessing criminal property.

All six, who were living in Lewisham, south London, will be automatically deported after serving their sentences.

The Recorder of Preston, Judge Anthony Russell, QC, said he would have urged their removal regardless.

He told them: "I would have recommended deportation because in my view your continued presence in this country – whose hospitality you have abused – is contrary to the public interest."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower