Op Castle: Two men sentenced to more than 12 years in prison for burglary conspiracy

Op Castle: Two men sentenced to more than 12 years in prison for burglary conspiracy

Operation Castle detectives are welcoming the sentencing of two men to more than 12 years in prison for multiple burglary offences today, Thursday 20 August 2020.

31-year-old Patrick Symes of no fixed abode was sentenced to 10 years in prison for conspiracy to commit burglary
30-year-old Lewis Smith of Pauline Walk, Field Lane Estate was sentenced to 2 years 3 months in prison for conspiracy to commit burglary

The sentencing follows an investigation into a series of burglaries in the Merseyside area between October 2018 and February 2019, including areas of Liverpool and Sefton, in which cash and jewellery were targeted. Extensive enquiries led to the arrest and charge of Symes and Smith, who pleaded guilty to offences.

Speaking after the case, Detective Constable John Neville said: “It is satisfying to see Symes and Smith removed from the streets for the foreseeable future. They are two offenders who targeted homes in the early evening hours in autumn and winter months. Symes would use garden implements found at the location or nearby to force into home and steal cash and jewellery.

“The impact on victims of burglary can be immense, with people left feeling distressed, insecure and unsafe in their own homes. Successful investigations like this have an equally significant and positive impact on the communities. We remain committed to finding the people responsible and bringing them to justice.

“Operation Castle is our ongoing response to burglary offences across Merseyside and was set up to pursue and put before the courts anyone suspected of being involved in burglary offences in our communities. Since we began, offenders have been sentenced to more than 300 years in prison, and burglary offences dropped by 18.9% across Merseyside in 2019. It’s thanks to information provided by those communities affected that we can record such results.

“I would ask if you see or hear anyone acting suspiciously close to homes or businesses, let us know and we will keep taking positive action to bring offenders to justice.”

Advice on how to keep your valuable safe and secure; marking your property to deter burglars, and a checklist when leaving the home can be found here: https://www.merseyside.police.uk/cp/crime-prevention/residential-burglary/

Some advice to help keep goods safe:
Lock all doors and windows, even when at home
Keep valuables out of sight of anyone passing by.
Remove keys from doors once they are locked.
Don’t leave your car keys on display (on window ledges/worktops) and don’t leave them by doors or windows where they could be grabbed with a hook or cane.
Secure your shed and garage properly.
Don’t leave tools lying around these could be used to help offender gain entry to your home.
Don’t leave any empty boxes advertising new electrical equipment you may have bought outside your house. Try to dispose of the packaging carefully by taking it to a recycling centre or keep it out of sight until the day your rubbish is collected.
Consider investing in a safe and keeping valuable possessions inside. Keep the safe in a secure, hidden place and do not share the code or key with anyone.
Report any suspicious people, vehicles or behaviour in your neighbourhood.

Always call 999 if a burglary is in progress and you can also report any information on suspected burglary and sale of stolen goods via @MerPolCC or anonymously to @CrimestoppersUK on 0800 555 111. #OpCastle #BeatTheBurglar

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