Stately home gang member captured after Yorkshire jailbreak

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A MEMBER of a notorious crime family that netted £80 million in stately home raids has been recaptured six months after escaping from a Yorkshire prison.

Daniel O’Loughlin, 35, absconded from Hatfield prison in South Yorkshire in July last year after failing to return from day release.

He was arrested early yesterday morning when a hotel in Coventry was raided, Gloucestershire Police said.

The career criminal was arrested on suspicion of escaping lawful custody and is currently being questioned at Cheltenham police station.

A 26-year-old Cheltenham woman was also arrested on suspicion of harbouring an escaped prisoner in connection with the case.

Detective Inspector Alistair Armstrong said: “Locating O’Loughlin has been a difficult task but I hope this shows how committed we’ve been to tracking him down with our neighbouring forces.

“We’re pleased to have him back in custody and off the streets so he can’t cause any harm in our communities.”

O’Loughlin was part of a group of travellers known as the Johnson Gang which were responsible for carrying out Britain’s biggest burglary.

He was jailed for 11 years in 2008 for his role in the heists, which took place over a 20-year period.

O’Loughlin played a key role in the Johnson clan’s criminal activities, which saw the Cheltenham family take part in a series of audacious raids on country estates across Wiltshire, Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Worcestershire.

Their most famous crime was the 2006 heist on Ramsbury Manor in Wiltshire, owned by reclusive property tycoon Harry Hyams.

The gang got away with antiques and art valued at about £30 million - making it Britain’s biggest burglary on a private property.

Other homes targeted included the Waddesdon Manor, a National Trust property and home of the Rothschild family near Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire.

About 100 snuff boxes worth around £5 million were stolen.

The homes of former Formula One motor racing tycoon Paddy McNally, Lord Lieutenant of Berkshire Sir Philip Wroughton, and Lord and Lady Sandys were also targeted.

The family had lived at the Cleeve Prior travellers’ site in Evesham, Worcestershire, where they plotted many of the high-value raids.

O’Loughlin was jailed along with his uncle Ricky Johnson, then 55, his cousins Richard “Chad” Johnson, 34, and Albi Johnson, 27, and Michael Nicholls, 31.

The family’s sentences ranged from eight to 11 years.

Two years ago, O’Loughlin was ordered by a judge to pay £113,200 in a confiscation hearing or face a further 25 months in prison.