Chester man jailed following burglary spree in the city
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A 44-year-old man from Chester has been jailed after admitting carrying out a series of burglaries across the city.
Stephen Collins, of Hatton Road, broke into homes in Gladstone Avenue, Sealand Road, Newton Lane and Dickson Drive.
He stole large quantities of valuable items and cash during the crime spree between the Fridays of 10 July and 24 July.
One of the victims saw Collins leaving his address as he returned home.
Collins managed to flee, but the description that the victim gave of him matched CCTV footage that officers gathered of a man who had been in the area.
An officer recognised the man in the footage as Collins and colleagues subsequently went to his home on Sunday 26 July.
Collins ran out of the back of his house when the officers arrived.
He was chased across the back of a number of neighbouring properties before being arrested and having his home searched.
A large number of items stolen during the burglaries were recovered from his home, and the shoes he was wearing when he was arrested matched footprints at the scenes of some of the crimes.
In addition, further CCTV footage gathered by the police showed Collins with Kai Davis when the 21-year-old man used bank cards stolen from one of the burglaries, in Newton Lane, to buy cigarettes from shops.
Davies, of Lynwood Road, Chester, was also arrested on Sunday 26 July.
When questioned in custody, he admitted fraudulently using the stolen bank cards at five shops in the Chester area.
Davies was subsequently charged with fraud and receiving stolen goods.
Collins denied being responsible for the burglary offences when he was questioned in custody.
However, after being presented with all the evidence that officers had gathered against him, he pleaded guilty to five counts of burglary.
Collins was sentenced for the offences at Chester Crown Court on Monday 24 August.
He was jailed for three years and ordered to pay a £190 victim surcharge.
Davies was sentenced at Chester Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday 28 July after pleading guilty to the offences he was charged with.
He was sentenced to a total of 22 weeks in prison and ordered to pay a £128 victim surcharge. Two of the weeks were imposed for breaching a suspended prison sentence.
Detective Constable Tom Philpotts, who led the investigation into the burglaries on behalf of Chester Local Policing Unit, said: “I am pleased that Stephen Collins and Kai Davis are now both behind bars facing the consequences of their actions.
“Collins burgled five properties in Chester – two on Sealand Road – and during his crime spree he stole large quantities of cash and valuable items, including laptops, jewellery, bikes, cameras, bags and perfumes.
“Burglary is a serious offence in which victims are targeted in their own home, which is the place that they should be able to feel most safe.
“No-one was at home when Collins committed the offences, but unfortunately for him one of the victims saw him as he was leaving the man’s address.
“This subsequently led to Collins being identified, arrested and brought to justice, as well as stolen property being returned to their rightful owners.
“It is always a deeply upsetting experience being the victim of a burglary, but I hope that the victims of this case can move on from the upset now that Collins and Davis have both been convicted and jailed for their offences.
“I also hope that this case deters others from committing similar offences.”
David Keane, police and crime commissioner for Cheshire, added: “Everyone has the right to feel safe in their own home. Offences like this have a devastating impact on victims and on the wider community.
“I would like to praise the work of all the officers who were involved this investigation and helped to deliver justice for the victims.
“I hope that the outcomes of this case allows the victims to move forward with their lives and provides reassurance to local residents.”