A man has been jailed for burglaries in Southampton and Romsey.
On Friday (18 February), Ian Masters, 33, who was at HMP Lewes Prison at the time of the sentence, was sentenced to two years in prison at Portsmouth Crown Court.
He had previously pleaded guilty to two counts of burglary and fraud by false representation.
The court heard how on 13 November last year, between 11.30am and 2pm, Masters broke into a property in Church Lane, Southampton, by prising open a bathroom window while the homeowners were out.
An internal kitchen door was smashed with a brick, and he proceeded to smear cheese on the kitchen surfaces and stole bank letters, a laptop and a Nintendo Switch console. These were not recovered.
A fingerprint matching Masters’ was found on the bathroom window.
On 16 December, between 8.10am and 2pm, a house in Brook Way, Romsey, was broken into while the occupants were out.
Entry was gained by smashing a glass panel in the kitchen door with a rock.
Stolen were a credit card, two debit cards, Icelandic currency worth £45, £30 in cash, two mobile phones and three gold rings, including a wedding ring. None were recovered.
At 2.01pm, the owner of the credit card received a text from his bank that it had been used. The card was used six times to buy items worth £135.80, with one declined transaction of £21.
The rock used to smash the door returned a DNA match to Masters and CCTV showed a man matching Masters’ appearance using the credit card.
He was arrested on 23 December and bailed while CCTV and forensic enquiries could be carried out, and further arrested on 18 January following the new evidence coming to light. He was then remanded at HMP Lewes.
PSI Sarah Stewart led the investigation. She said: “Your home is somewhere you should feel safe – which is why dwelling burglaries can be so traumatic for those affected, beyond the impact of the belongings that are stolen.
“This sentence shows we will use all the tools at our disposal, including forensics, to bring offenders to justice and I hope it reassures our communities that we take burglary very seriously.”
If you have been the victim of a dwelling burglary, or has any information on burglary and stolen goods, please contact us on 101 or via our website.