'Burglary tourists' travelled 12,000 miles to raid celebrity chef Marcus Wareing's home
15 January 2020, 19:46 | Updated: 15 January 2020, 19:51
Four 'burglary tourists' who flew from Chile to the UK to ransack celebrity chef Marcus Wareing's home have been jailed.
Danko Carvajal-Donaire, 20, Claudio Donoso, 20, Nicolas Portilla Astorga, 27, and Jorge Rojas, 22, broke into the restaurateur’s home in Wimbledon, south-west London, last October, making away with around £33,000 worth of goods.
The four men, who are all from Chile, admitted breaking into the £5 million pound property with the intent to steal while Mr Wareing and his wife were away.
The so-called "burglary tourists" had flown in to the UK just days before the raid, and smashed through the patio doors before rifling through the couple's possessions in their bedroom.
Mr Wareing, who is a judge on Masterchef: The Professionals, had a gold Rolex, two Omega watches worth more than £12,000 and a "Hell's Kitchen" engraved watch.
Jewellery including bracelets, earrings, gold chains, a £1,500 Cartier watch and a £520 pair of Christian Louboutin shoes were all stolen from Mrs Wareing.
The men also took pictures of themselves wearing the stolen jewellery, which they posted on social media.
All four men have been put behind bars to three years and four months in prison.
Judge Jonathan Davies said: “No one here or abroad should be under an illusion that somehow the UK is a soft touch.
"Each of you came to this country with one purpose — crime. No other reason for your visit to the UK has been offered to me.”
Mr Wareing said in a victim statement that the couple had suffered an "enormous" loss and that they had to spend much of the insurance money on increased security.
The judge explained how three orange dots had been sprayed on the fence around the house in advance of the raid, to identify the property to the robbers.
Prosecutor Christiaan Moll explained: “The master bedroom had been broken into and their possessions had been strung out all over the floor.
“There had been an untidy search of that room, which is on the first floor. A double patio door which leads to a large balcony was smashed and there was glass on the bedroom floor.”
Wareing, who runs three top London restaurants, said: “We are pleased that the men have been caught and would like to thank Wimbledon police for assisting us during this time.
"They made us feel safe and secure again in our home and were utterly brilliant.”
All of the men pled guilty to conspiracy to burgle and going equipped to steal, and are likely to be deported.
The break in is the latest in a pattern of burglaries in south west London and surrey by south American thieves.
The Metropolitan Police have said they believe these gang members are flown into the country by organised crime networks thought to be behind hundreds of these crimes.
Typically the thieves target unoccupied addresses situated in rural areas, often near parks or golf courses.