TWO criminals who admitted conspiring to burgle 12 shops and stores across Dorset and Hampshire have been slapped with a proceeds of crime order.

On Thursday 25 October last year, Ricky Severn, aged 32, of Alder Road, Southampton and Darryl Clarke, aged 29, of Summit Way, Southampton were both jailed for their part in 10 crimes in Hampshire and two in Dorset where convenience stores were targeted for cash and cigarettes.

Now a judge at Southampton Crown Court made a confiscation order having assessed that Severn had benefitted from his criminality over the last six years to the value of £114,078.87 and Clarke benefited to the amount of £65,080.26. The order was made under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Severn was ordered to pay back £20,285.40 within the next three months. If he defaults he was told he would have another 12 months custodial sentence added onto the four and half year’s he is already serving. Severn will be subjected to pay back £114,078.87.

Because of his circumstances Clarke was only ordered to pay £1 now, but is also subject to having to pay back the total of £65,080.26.

Ricky Severn and Darryl Clarke burgled 12 businesses on dates between February 19 and March 15 in 2018.

Police linked the crimes following an extensive investigation into a spate of break-ins.

Ten stores in Southampton, Eastleigh, Netley Abbey and Basingstoke were affected. The men also targeted two businesses in Wimborne on the same night.

A large number of cigarettes were stolen from Central Convenience Stores in Bayard Place, Wimborne, just before 3am on March 15. The alarm at the Locus store in Wimborne Road West was de-activated on the same day. However, the men didn't manage to force their way inside the business.

Severn and Clarke mainly stole cigarettes, although on one occasion they stole clothes worth £65,000 from a store in Above Bar Street, Southampton.

Each burglary was carried out in the early hours of the morning. The men wore masks and scarves to cover their faces before forcing their way into the properties using crowbars. They then stuffed cigarettes into industrial rubble bags, which were thrown in the back of stolen cars on cloned plates

Investigators believe the cigarettes were sold on illegally.

Officers cracked the case when Clarke's DNA was found at the scene of a burglary in Basingstoke, Hampshire.

Hampshire Police said: "We hope this shows that we don’t just stop at trying to secure jail terms for these kind of crimes.

"These amounts will have life changing impacts on both Severn and Clarke after they’ve served their sentences, any assets they acquire lawfully or not will and can be seized until their court benefits have been paid."