A gang member who boasted about his crimes has been sentenced for the theft of more than £100,000 in designer jewellery.

Luke Stephen, 38, of Brentwood in Essex, was handed 40 months imprisonment after stealing a suitcase with jewellery from Faberge, Van Cleef and Arpels, Cartier and Bulgari.

Stephen, sentenced with four other gang members at Inner London Crown Court, was thought to have stolen millions in goods from hundreds of motorists across the Square Mile in central London.

Detective Sergeant Graham Willis, who led the investigation at the City of London Police, said after Stephen's gang were arrrested, thefts in and around the Square Mile fell by 85%.

"When Stephen answered his door, it was like a scene from The Bill," Det. Serg. Willis said to the Daily Mail. 

"The door swung open and in the background was all this stolen stuff spread out over the floor."

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Stephen, who stole the expensive jewellery from an Aston Martin car, was part of a gang of five, all arrested after police raids on June 6 in 2023.

Gareth Davies, 41, from Teddington, south west London, was sentenced to 43 months in jail.

Ian Matthews, 32, from Shepherd’s Bush, north west London, was given three years in custody.

West London's James Saddington, 33, from Earls Court, was sentenced to 14 months, suspended for two years.

Jake Colassi-O’Connor, 32, from Chelsea in west London, was given 20 months, suspended for two years.

They all pled guilty after seeing the evidence against them, police said.

City of London Police had tracked down Stephen and found him with the stolen items in his Brentwood home.

Officers found the goods taken from the Aston Martin after a woman had returned to her car and reported her jewels stolen on August 4 in 2022 on Bell Wharf Lane near the River Thames.

Police found a further £60,000-worth of designer handbags, shoes, belts and jewellery at Stephen's home.

Stephen had boasted of his crimes, police said, after they seized his phone and and found messages between him and four other men talking about stealing property from cars over several years.

They even included pictures of some of the stolen items, police said.

Stephen, Davies and Matthews were also handed serious crime prevention orders which restrict who they associate with and dictate where they go.

This will last five years after their release and can result in another prison sentenced if breached.

Detective Chief Superintendent Mandy Horsburgh, head of specialist operations, said: "This was a sophisticated criminal gang intent on taking possessions from those who work, visit and live in the City for their own financial gain. 

"We hope this delivers the message to any criminals thinking of entering the City of London to commit crime that they should think again, as we will work tenaciously to bring them to justice," she told the Daily Mail.

"This case is another example of dedicated, hard-working police officers following leads, knocking on doors and cracking the case," she added.