Three men involved in burgling nearly 60 homes across three counties have been jailed.
The trio - Traian Vasiluta, 22, Mihai Gherghinesco, 33, and Adrian Budurcoiu, 21 - used homemade tools to smash windows and patio doors which would normally be considered resistant to attack.
Homes in Micklesmere Drive, Ixworth, Nunnery Drive, Thetford, Robert Linge Crescent, Brandon, Church Road, Stowupland, South Park, Weeting, and Manor Garth, Pakenham, were among those targeted.
On Friday, Ipswich Crown Court heard how police were able to link 15 of the raids to Suffolk through distinctive footprints and the way the homes had been broken into.
The burglars also helped police by taking photos of each other on mobile phones at the scene of some of their crimes.
Prosecuting, Shauna Ritche said raids in Norfolk and Cambridgeshire brought the value of goods stolen to £125,000.
As well as jewellery, cameras and computer equipment, the gang took household items including duvets, kitchen utensils and food.
Miss Ritchie said: “A number of those who reported crimes found themselves perplexed by the items stolen.”
She said some of the jewellery was of great sentimental value and had been handed down from generation-to-generation.
The court heard that most of the burglaries had taken place at night, some when residents were on holiday and one when a man was recovering from a heart attack.
Miss Ritchie said a search of a property in Ipswich, where the three men were living, revealed a large quantity of stolen property in a hidden room in the attic.
The men pleaded guilty to conspiracy to burgle, with Gherghinesco admitting involvement in 17 burglaries, Vasiluta 38 and Budurcoiu four.
In mitigation, lawyers representing them said they had expressed genuine remorse. They also said Gherghinesco had acted ‘out of desperation’ to support his children.
Sentencing them, Judge Rupert Overbury said: “The burglaries were premeditated, professional, well planned using equipment to steal using a homemade device to shatter glass which one would normally consider to be impervious.”
He said a 17-year-old had been forced to rewrite a year’s A level coursework in a month after her computer was stolen.
Gherghinesco and Vasiluta were sentenced to seven years and four months each and Burducoiu to five years and four months.
Judge Overbury said: “People who burgle other people’s property can expect no sympathy from the courts whatever their personal circumstances.”