Two men who stole up to £50,000 worth of jewellery from stores across the country have been sentenced to a total of eight years.
Jonathan Evans, aged 45, of Cosslett Place in Grangetown, Cardiff and Christopher Prescott, aged 53, from Fishguard Close, Llanishen in Cardiff both pleaded guilty at Chester Crown Court on Tuesday 18 April to seven counts of theft.
Evans was given a four year prison sentence while Prescott will serve four years and three months.
The court heard how the pair targeted the Ernest Jones jewellery store at Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet in Ellesmere Port as well as other stores in Nottingham, York and Portsmouth, stealing watches, rings and bracelets.
On the afternoon of Friday 30 December the pair walked into Ernest Jones in Ellesmere Port and attempted to open a cabinet containing expensive watches. Once opened, they stole a watch valued at £5,000 and left the store.
On Monday 30 January Evans returned to the store and was detained by security staff until officers arrived. He was arrested on suspicion of theft and during a search of his home officers retrieved four watches believed to have been taken from Ernest Jones.
Prescott was subsequently arrested on Wednesday, 1 February 2017 at his home address in Cardiff after being identified as being with Evans on CCTV stills.
During the investigation it became apparent that the pair had targeted a number of Ernest Jones stores across the country over a two month period.
Evans was subsequently charged with seven offences of theft and Prescott with ten offences of theft.
Detective Constable Mark Hughes, of Ellesmere Port Local Policing Unit, said: “Both Evans and Prescott were extremely confident in believing they could target these stores across the country and never get caught.
“I have no doubt that the arrogance Evans showed when returning to the scene of one of his crimes meant he would have continued to carry on committing these offences.
“The pair are now paying the price for their actions and I hope that the time behind bars will allow them to reflect upon what they have done – and the impact of it.”
The six other thefts across the country included a watch from an Ernest Jones store in Portsmouth, two rings at the store in Nottingham on Friday, 6 January, then on Wednesday, 17 January the pair stole a watch at the Designer Outlet Shopping Mall in York, which was valued at more than £15,000.
Prescott also pleaded guilty to three other thefts of sunglasses from Sunglasses Hut in Bristol.