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Crooked second-hand Cambridge gold dealer ordered to repay £320,000

Pateman, of Fen Road, Chesterton was found guilty of being part of a sophisticated criminal network

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Thomas Pateman was not part of a family gang that carried out 250 burglaries across the East of England, but he was a key part of the network when it came to selling some of the £2 million worth of stolen goods. And Pateman, who received an 8-year sentence in 2018 for his part in the crime spree, has now been ordered to repay more than £320,000.

The second-hand gold shop owner from Chesterton near Cambridge faced a Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) hearing at Norwich Crown Court on Monday (4 March.

He was ordered to repay £320,091 within three months or face a further spell behind bars.

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He would also still be required to repay the money.

Pateman, 59, of Fen Road, Chesterton was found guilty of being part of the sophisticated criminal network which stole more than £2 million of goods including jewellery, cars and cash between February and December 2017.

During his trial Pateman described himself as a well-known figure in the travelling community who had been running a shop in Cambridge for seven years.

He also explained that as well as buying and selling gold and silver, he also bought and sold bikes from his shop in Mill Road, Cambridge.

Following his sentencing, the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit (ERSOU) launched a financial investigation which established that Pateman had benefited by more than £440,000 from his involvement in the crimes.

Second-hand gold shop owner Thomas Pateman, 59, helped a gang sell stolen items from hundreds of burglaries

Second-hand gold shop owner Thomas Pateman, 59, helped a gang sell stolen items from hundreds of burglaries

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Senior financial investigation manager for ERSOU, Paul Fitzsimmons, said: “We will maximise every opportunity we can under POCA legislation, alongside our colleagues in police forces, to strip those who seek to benefit from their ill-gotten gains.

“Pateman will now be made to pay for his actions, and we hope that this serves as a strong deterrent to anyone who thinks that they can profit financially from invoking misery on other people’s lives.

“Whilst this cannot make up for the impact felt by the victims of Pateman and his fellow gang members, we hope that it can provide some consolation to them.

“We will also continue to monitor his finances so that, should he come into any further money or assets, these are also used to meet the full amount of his criminal earnings.”

Throughout 2017 the 12-member gang stole jewellery, cash, and cars from across Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, Bedfordshire, Suffolk, and Essex.

Police revealed that the burglary rate in Norfolk halved when the gang, aged 20 to 55, was arrested and in Cambridgeshire the gang was “single-handedly responsible for a crimewave”.

One detective involved in the case that the gang, mostly drawn from the traveller community, considered crime “just a way of life”.

The defendants included a 21-year-old from Willingham, Cambridgeshire and a 25-year-old man from Ely.

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