A BURGLAR has been jailed for 15 months for taking items of great financial and sentimental value after ‘violating the place where people have every right to feel most safe’.
Patrick Robert Symes, 30, of Thursby Crescent, Kirkby, pleaded guilty at Liverpool Crown Court on Friday, August 9 to two burglaries at Formby homes on February 27.
He stole £500 worth of jewellery from a house on Graburn Road and £3,800 worth of jewellery and watches from a property on Old Mill Lane.
Among the items taken from Graburn Road was an engagement ring almost 50 years old and irreplaceable items passed down by family members. They were returned to their owners after being found in Symes’ possession.
He was jailed for 15 months for two counts of burglary of a dwelling.
Detective Inspector Steve Ball said: “We recognise and understand the huge impact that burglaries have on our local communities.
“Not only do burglars like Symes think nothing of taking items of great financial and sentimental value to their owners, by breaking into homes they violate the place where people have every right to feel most safe.
“That is why we launched Op Castle, our targeted operation to prevent burglaries and put offenders before the courts, and Symes is the latest in a long line of burglars to be caught and jailed as part of the operation.
“I want to reassure all victims that we will devote all the resources we can, and do everything possible to target burglars.
“Our investigations and community policing teams continue to work hard to develop intelligence from the community and partners, and will act on all information to pursue offenders.
“We regularly stop-check people acting suspiciously, which deters criminals from operating in these areas, so together we can make these areas hostile places for criminals to operate.
“Burglars will target the most vulnerable people on our communities and burglars will look for easy targets. Don’t give them the chance – during spells of warm weather when you might be tempted to leave windows and doors open, but be vigilant and don’t leave those areas unattended.
“I would also ask that people keep their gardens, sheds and houses safe and secure, and look out for their neighbours when they are away.”
In a victim impact statement read to the court, the victim of the burglary at Graburn Road said: “The experience of having been burgled has simply been awful. The fact that someone had been into our home and riffled through our possessions has obviously been distressing.
“This has made us incredibly nervous when we return home – the fear that someone may be in our home is always at the back of our minds. I now go straight to the door that was opened by the burglar in order to reassure myself that all is well. It is hard to rid ourselves of the thought that someone had been watching us and planning to break into our home.”
Anyone with information on burglary is asked to contact the police's dedicated hotline on 0151 777 7926, email email@example.com or call or the independent charity @CrimestoppersUK anonymously, on 0800 555 111.