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'Callous' Bromley couple bought puppy with funds from gym locker thefts

A "callous" couple funded a lavish lifestyle - including buying a pedigree puppy - by visiting gyms to steal bank and SIM cards while their victims were exercising.

The Metropolitan Police said Ashley Singh, 39, and Sophie Bruyea, 20, both of Widmore Road, Bromley, London, would "max out" the stolen credit cards on "expensive tech and designer gear" before selling them on.

They then used the cash to buy holidays, shoes, bags - and a puppy.

A total of 18 people were targeted in what the judge at Croydon Crown Court branded a "wicked conspiracy".

Police said they were sentenced for conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation between January 2022 and January 2023 - worth a total of £250,000.

Singh was sentenced to three years in jail, while Bruyea was given 20 months at a young offenders' institute, suspended for two years, a rehabilitation programme and 120 hours of unpaid work.

The pair stole the bank cards from gym lockers. Victims saw their bank accounts drained and were unable to use their phones, leading to huge stress and financial loss, officers said.

Detective Constable Luis Martins Da Silva, from the Met's economic crime team, said: "You couldn't fail to be moved by the devastating impact their callous behaviour had on people, and we hope that by catching them this offers victims a little bit of solace.

"We will now look to forfeit the proceeds of their crimes to try and help compensate those who went through this."

The pair's "wide-ranging spree" was noticed by an officer, who flagged the pattern to detectives who are experts in economic crime.

A team traced the pair's phones, cars, and faces on CCTV and linked them together.

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Met officers arrested them at Gatwick Airport on 27 January 2023 as they returned from Paris with €2,000 (£1,700) worth of designer goods.

The judge said the pair's crimes had made some of their victims no longer feel safe around strangers - or had caused them to suffer professionally due to the stress.

There were 18 fraud reports in total - 14 in Greater London, one in Sussex, one in Hertfordshire and two in Cambridgeshire.