Two men who stole thousands of pounds worth of jewellery and watches in a burglary spree have been jailed.
Jorge Pinto Vallejos and Jamie Duarte Vera, from Chile, came to the UK for “tourism burglary”, police said.
The were party of a gang which raided houses in Alderley Edge and Prestbury in Cheshire in 2019, including ex-Man United player Tomasz Kuszczak’s home.
Vallejos, 27, has been jailed for three years and eight months and Vera, 40, for three years and four months.
Vallejos admitted five burglaries and one attempted burglary while Vera admitted three burglaries, one attempted burglary and going equipped after he was found with a rucksack containing screwdrivers and tools.
Cheshire Police said they stole an estimated total of £170,000 worth of goods including a £30,000 Patek Philippe watch, diamond bracelets, shotguns and a platinum wedding ring.
At Chester Crown Court, Brett Williamson, prosecuting, said the gang had opened all of a family’s Christmas presents in a house in Prestbury before stealing items worth £44,000.
Kuzczak’s detached home in Prestbury was targeted twice by the gang, who removed a 100kg safe on their first visit containing diamond bracelets and watches worth £80,000.
They returned to the property on 28 December but motion detectors installed on the CCTV were triggered when they entered the grounds.
Mr Wiliamson said: “The defendants were seen running off from the address and the police helicopter tracked the defendants hopping through lots of gardens.”
In a statement, Kuszczak, who has played for Manchester United and Birmingham City, said the burglary had a “huge impact” on him and his family.
Kay Driver, defending Vallejos, said he had apologised to the victims, and “appreciates the damage his behaviour has caused to their wellbeing and society”.
Jemma Gordon, representing Vera, said he had come to the UK in October hoping to earn money but “got involved in this criminality and he apologises for his actions.”
CPS senior prosecutor Sarah Gray said: “They had no thought of the distress they were causing to the owners of the properties they broke into, particularly as many of the items stolen were personal and had sentimental value.”
Both men will be deported after serving their sentences, police said.