TV chef Marcus Wareing and his wife were left “deeply upset” after a criminal gang ransacked their home in a £33,000 jewellery raid.
The MasterChef: The Professionals star’s £5 million house in Wimbledon was targeted by a gang of “burglary tourists” who flew in from Chile just days before the raid.
Among the items taken from Wareing - a former protege of Gordan Ramsay - was a watch engraved with the words “Hell’s Kitchen”, a gold Rolex and two Omega watches worth more than £12,000.
Kingston crown court heard how the thieves smashed their way throught first-floor patio doors and raided the couple’s master bedroom, while the family were away at their second home in Kent in October last year. The total value of the stolen items and damage to the home was £33,711.
Wareing 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.”
Judge Jonathan Davies said three orange dots had been sprayed on the back fence of the Wareings’ home in advance of the raid, identifying it to the theives as a high-value property.
The Michelin star chef’s wife Jane lost jewellery including bracelets, earrings, gold chains, a £1,500 Cartier watch, a £520 pair of Christian Louboutin shoes and a treasured locket containing pictures of her father and uncle which remain unrecovered.
Danko Carvajal-Donaire, 20, Claudio Donoso, 20, Nicolas Portilla Astorga, 27, and Jorge Rojas, 22, were captured a few days later on their way to another burglary. Rojas was wearing a gold pendant belonging to Mrs Wareing at the time of his arrest, and detectives found a picture of Carvajal-Donaire and Astorga posing with some of the jewellery.
Judge Davies sentenced all four men to three years and four months in prison, saying: “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.”
The thieves have admitted being recruited totravel to the UK to carry out robberies. They all pleaded guilty to conspiracy to burgle and going equipped to steal, and are likely to be deported.