Burglar who stole bikes from sheds in Runcorn jailed
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A burglar and shoplifter has been jailed after stealing four mountain bikes from sheds in Runcorn.
Lewis Dutton went into a garden on Victoria Road and entered the shed in the early hours of Monday 18 January.
The 28-year-old is not believed to have taken anything from the shed, but soon afterwards he attempted to steal a mountain bike that was chained up in another garden on Victoria Road.
He used a hacksaw on the chain but fled without the bike after activating a security light and waking up the occupiers.
In the morning people living in the nearby St Johns Gardens and Ashley Road woke up to discover that mountain bikes had been stolen from their sheds overnight.
A shed had been broken into at both locations and a total of four bikes had been stolen.
The incidents were reported to the police, and officers identified Dutton as the man who had committed the offences on Victoria Road from CCTV footage.
He was arrested at his home in Clapgate Crescent, Widnes, on the same day.
Three of the stolen bikes were recovered from the address, which contained a distinctive jacket he was wearing in the CCTV footage.
The other bike was recovered from an address that one of Dutton’s relatives lives in.
After refusing to answer any questions when interviewed in custody, Dutton was charged with three counts of burglary in relation to the sheds he entered and one count of attempted theft of a bicycle.
He was also charged with two counts of theft from a shop.
Those charges relate to incidents at Runcorn’s Asda supermarket that were captured on CCTV.
Both shoplifting incidents occurred on Wednesday 6 January and saw Dutton steal a total of £634 worth of goods.
He pleaded guilty to all of the offences at Warrington Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday 20 January and was jailed for 32 weeks and ordered to pay a £320 victim surcharge.
The convictions also activated an 18-week suspended prison sentence that Dutton received at Chester Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday 24 November for stealing a mountain bike in a burglary at Norton Village in Runcorn on Saturday 14 November and three counts of breaching a restraining order.
So Dutton’s total prison sentence is 50 weeks.
Detective Constable Daryl Gavin, of Runcorn Local Policing Unit, said: “This case shows the value of CCTV footage.
“It led to us identifying Lewis Dutton as the offender, and in the case of the burglary and attempted bike theft incidents it led to us arresting him and recovering all of the stolen property within hours of the offences being committed.
“The mountain bikes have been returned to the victims and I hope this case provides reassurance to the Runcorn community.
“I also hope that it deters others from committing such offences.”
David Keane, police and crime commissioner for Cheshire, added: “Our homes are places that we should feel safe, so it must be a deeply upsetting experience to wake up to discover that a burglar has targeted your address and stolen some of your belongings.
“I know that Cheshire Constabulary treats all forms of burglary as a serious offence and that they are investigated as such, and I would like to thank the officers involved in this case for establishing the identity of the offender, securing the convictions and recovering all of the stolen bikes.”