A man who burgled two houses while families slept inside has been jailed.
Stephen Grzyb, from Huyton, broke into the homes on Brinton Close and Chillington Avenue, Widnes, in the early hours of Thursday 14 October 2021 whilst the occupants and their children were asleep in bed.
The 18-year-old broke into the first address through the garage but was unsuccessful in gaining entry to the house.
He left empty handed before running across the road to another house nearby on Chillington Avenue.
The victims were upstairs when they were woken by the sound of breaking glass as Grzyb smashed his way through two sets of glass doors.
He then stole the keys to a VW Golf R that was parked on the driveway and drove off as the victims watched from their bedroom window.
The vehicle was subsequently recovered later that day in Huyton, Liverpool.
An investigation was undertaken by detectives at Widnes Proactive Policing Team and Grzyb was quickly identified as the suspect.
He was arrested on Saturday 28 May after he avoided arrest for seven months.
Grzyb appeared in Liverpool Crown Court on Tuesday 28 June, where he was sentenced to three years and six months.
He pleaded guilty to two counts of domestic burglaries, one count of theft of a motor vehicle and one count of escaping lawful custody.
Following Grzyb’s sentencing, Detective Constable Tim Brookes, who led the investigation said: “These crimes have had a real impact on the victims who have suffered months of trauma and stress.
“One victim immediately sold their vehicle that had been stolen by Grzyb, as this left him feeling vulnerable and at risk of being targeted again.
“Another victim has been left feeling so insecure in the house she has lived in for over 30 years, that she now locks her doors and windows even if she goes into the garden to hang washing out.
“Thankfully, as a result of a thorough investigation, and the strength of evidence gathered, Grzyb was left with no option but to plead guilty.
“The sentence imposed by the court today is significant to someone of such a young age and I hope this sends a clear message that criminals travelling into Cheshire intent on committing crime will be caught and brought to justice.”