Prolific burglar caught red-handed on CCTV

Peter Brown
Peter Brown

A prolific burglar has been jailed after he was caught on CCTV stealing from a home and a building owned by Hartlepool Borough Council.

Peter Brown broke into a house as he was on his way to revisit the scene of a previous break-in, Teesside Crown Court was told.

The court heard Brown and accomplices who have never been caught stole carpet cleaners from a municipal building and £600 from bottles of coins from a private house.

Brown was caught on CCTV committing both offences.

The judge described Brown as a prolific burglar with ‘a poor record over a protracted period of time’ and jailed him for a month short of three years.

“The first burglary happened at Gardner House which is a disused building owned by the local council in Hartlepool,” said Jenny Haigh, prosecuting.

“Due to previous break-ins and vandalism it has a number of alarms fitted.

“Brown and an accomplice triggered one of the alarms as they stole carpet cleaners valued at £3,900.”

The court heard Brown was returning to Gardner House to break into it again two days later when he saw a house with an open window.

“The window was on the first floor,” said Ms Haigh. “It was above a porch.

“When the owners returned they found they had been burgled, about £450 in £2 coins saved in a demijohn and £150 in pound coins were taken.

“The owners found the back door unlocked, although they had left it locked.

“The burglar had climbed onto the porch and through the window to get in, leaving by the back door.

“Brown was identified by CCTV taken from a neighbouring property.”

Brown, 49, of Wynyard Mews, Hartlepool, admitted burglary on October 30 and November 1.

Andrew Teate, defending, said in mitigation: “Mr Brown has a dreadful record for burglary from when he was younger, but has only committed one offence of burglary since 2004.

“He is a man of very limited means and turns to crime when he is struggling financially.

“He maintains he did not enter the burgled house, but concedes he acted as a lookout.”

Judge James Brown jailed Brown for 35 months.

The judge told him: “You are a prolific burglar, and while you have not committed so many burglaries recently, you have been offending in other ways.

“Your overall poor record is also over a protracted period of time.”