Three prolific burglars who stole children’s ashes from a home in Richmond have been convicted.

On December 11 last year, Marcin Lipiec, 37, Daniel Majewski, 26, and Piotr Pawlark, 32, all of Wills Crescent, Whitton, broke into the home in Castlegate and stole a box containing the ashes of twins who died at birth, along with jewellery, leaving the family devastated.

The men, who have stolen hundreds of items from homes across London, were caught when police received a call to report a “suspicious” gold VW Passat driving slowly along Fitzgerald Avenue, into Buxton Road with three men inside. They gave police the registration number.

Shortly after the call, a burglary was reported in Buxton Road- the victims could not get into their home as the front door had been barricaded from the inside.

When police arrived they found a safe, bank cards, passports and a laptop had been stolen.

After finding the suspicious car was registered to Piotr Pawlark, police raided his home and found the stolen safe, along with 400 items of stolen property, the box of ashes, crowbars, hammers and gloves.

Lipiec, Majewski and Pawlark, who are all Polish nationals, along with a 25-year-old woman, were arrested on suspicion of burglary.

The three men were charged with burglary on December 14, while the woman was released under investigation pending further enquiries.

All three pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit burglary at Kingston Crown Court on Tuesday, April 17.

They will be sentenced at the same court on Friday, May 11.

PC Jamie Oprey from Richmond and Kingston CID, said: “Lipiec, Majewski and Pawlark are prolific burglars who have caused misery and heartbreak for a number of families across London. I'm pleased they have today been brought to justice for their crimes.

“Thanks to some great detective work, we were able to link these three defendants to eight burglaries in London and I'm delighted that we were able to return hundreds of items of stolen property to their owners, including the children's ashes.

“I hope this highlights how important it is for members of the public to call the police when they see something suspicious, just like the caller did when they acted on their instincts about the VW Passat.”