A burglar from Bollington who targeted a pensioner’s home in the area has been jailed.
Simon Walmsley, of Elmsway, broke into the elderly victim’s property twice in six weeks, stealing a quantity of jewellery on both occasions.
The 56-year-old was caught as a result of the victim’s family having CCTV installed at the address in Oak Lane, Kerridge, following the first burglary on the night of Saturday 4 July.
They had been advised to do so by officers investigating the incident.
When Walmsley broke into the property again on the night of Saturday 15 August, he searched the victim’s bedroom as they slept, rummaging through their drawers and cupboards.
Walmsley fled after waking them up, but he was captured by the CCTV cameras and subsequently identified by a police officer.
A manhunt ensued and Walmsley was spotted in a Bollington bush shelter by an officer on Tuesday 8 September.
Walmsley attempted to run away after seeing the officer’s police car turn around to head back towards him.
The officer ended catching up to him on foot.
Walmsley was arrested, and with the strength of the evidence that the investigating officers gathered against him he had no chance of running away from justice.
The evidence included items of jewellery stolen during the burglaries being recovered by officers who searched his home.
He pleaded guilty to two counts of burglary and was jailed for four years by Chester Crown Court on Friday 22 January.
Detective Sergeant Dave Jarvis, who led the investigation at Macclesfield Local Policing Unit’s burglary team, said: “Burglary is a serious crime in which victims are targeted in their own home, which is the place they should be able to feel most safe.
“What makes Simon Walmsley’s offending particular deplorable is the fact that he targeted the home of a vulnerable pensioner whilst they were inside it, on two separate occasions.
“After breaking into the property and stealing a quantity of jewellery as the victim slept, he did so again six weeks later.
“On the second occasion he woke the victim up whilst conducting an untidy search of their bedroom.
“Thankfully, the victim’s family had taken our advice by installing CCTV at the address and we were able to identify Walmsley as the offender from the resulting footage of the second burglary.
“He is now behind bars facing the consequences of his actions.
“I hope that the prison sentence imposed by the courts deters him and others from committing similar offences in the future and that it gives some closure to the victim and enables them to move forward with their life.”
On top of the custodial sentence, Walmsley was ordered to pay a £190 victim surcharge.
David Keane, police and crime commissioner for Cheshire, said: “It must be a deeply upsetting experience to wake up to discover that a burglar has broken into your home and stolen some of your belongings.
“It must be even more traumatic to wake up during the burglary and see the offender searching your bedroom.
“I would like to praise the officers involved in this case for catching the repeat offender and securing the two burglary convictions.
“I know that Cheshire Constabulary treats all forms of burglary as a serious offence and that they are investigated as such, and I am pleased to hear of this latest successful result.”