Crown Prosecution Service says goods worth £200,000 stolen in series of night-time raids across Devon and Somerset.

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Four men have appeared in court charged in connection with a conspiracy to burgle business premises in Devon and Somerset.

Reginald Soper, 53, and his brother Percy Soper, 48, of the Otterford caravan park at Culmhead, near Taunton, Somerset, appeared in the magistrates’ court at Exeter along with Dan Small, 21, of Linketty Lane, Plympton, and Nick Christian, 22, of Bernice Terrace, Plymouth, Devon.

Prosecutor Howard Phillips outlined the case against the men and said there had been 54 night-time burglaries in just under five months since May 2012 in both Devon and Somerset which had netted an estimated £200,000.

He claimed £50,000 had been stolen from various jewellers.

He alleged that units on various industrial estates had also been targeted where 17 safes had been stolen.

Mr Phillips said burglaries had been carried out by a masked gang in Beer, Kingsbridge, Tavistock, the Mid Devon and Exeter areas, Somerset, and the ‘heart of Devon’.

The district judge sitting in Exeter rejected bail applications and remanded all four men in custody and they will next appear before a judge at the city’s Crown Court in the New Year.

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