TWO men have been jailed over break-ins at family homes as West Midlands Police’s push to drive down burglary rates gathers speed.
Paul Gloster (24) and 18-year-old Jack Simper were handed prison sentences for separate raids on properties in Castle Bromwich and Dorridge, respectively.
Simper (pictured left) is believed to be one of a group of thieves who struck at a Manor Road, Dorridge, property in the early hours of February 3, prising wooden panels from a garage door before making off with a VW Tiguan, a Triumph motorbike and two pedal cycles.
However, forensic examination of the panels returned a DNA match to Simper and he was arrested from his home in Hazeldene Road, Sheldon, a week later.
Gloster was arrested after security camera footage showed him running from a house in Windleaves Road, Castle Bromwich on January 30 carrying a Dyson vacuum cleaner – followed by two other men also carrying items swiped from the property.
Images of the offenders were circulated on police briefing systems and local officers identified Gloster, from Bordesley Green East, among those involved.
Both men admitted burglary and at Birmingham Crown Court on March 13 Simper was handed a 20-month sentence with Gloster jailed for 27 months at the same court the following day.
Another man remains on remand in prison over the Castle Bromwich break-in awaiting trial on other criminal matters.
Burglar rates have increased recently in parts of the West Midlands – in line with the national trend – having previously dropped to record lows.
Criminals are focusing on homes with poor security to steal jewellery, phones and tablet computers − all of which are easy to sell on – or cash.
West Midlands Police has launched a campaign to tackle the issue – and on March 20 joined forces with Staffordshire officers during early morning raids at the homes of suspected burglars in the Black Country.
Five people were arrested during the operation are questioned over a series of break-ins at businesses and charity shops where property collectively valued at £500,000 was stolen.
And the force is expanding its portfolio of ‘capture houses’ – properties that are kitted out with hidden police cameras – to snare increasing numbers of unsuspecting burglars.