A PROLIFIC burglar responsible for more than £100,000 of crime has been jailed for five years.
Steven Paul Garner, 37, stole jewellery, irreplaceable photographs, medals and more, over six years, including in York and Malton.
Michael Smith, prosecuting, told Leeds Crown Court Garner showed police properties he had raided as part of the “clean slate” policy after he was arrested.
Garner, 37 of Daleside Walk, West Bowling, Bradford, admitted three burglaries and asked for 71 other offences including 45 burglaries and 19 attempted house burglaries to be taken into consideration, including in Tadcaster.
Mr Smith told the court Garner broke into a house in Flaxton, York, on February 12, while the occupiers were out at lunch.
He forced the French window with a garden fork and stole £10,000 worth of property including a laptop, bank cards, a phone and a car parked outside, which was later recovered in Bradford.
He was traced through DNA but overnight on April 27/28 he stole £2,000 worth of goods from a Cleckheaton house as the householder slept. In early May, he burgled a house in Castle Howard Road, Malton, while the occupant was on holiday.
A cleaner found drawers and a safe opened and items were strewn about the floor. Items including a jewellery box containing treasured medals presented to the retired occupant by his church were stolen.
Garner was traced through a bus ticket left at the scene.
Mr Smith told the court one of the biggest burglaries taken into consideration was in Pembroke Way, Whitby, where £30,000 in property was stolen, including items that belonged to the householders’ deceased relatives and irreplaceable photographs of their parents.
Anne-Marie Hutton, for Garner, said he felt genuine remorse, which was why he had helped the police.
She said he accepted he had caused extreme misery to his victims and wanted to have everything cleared up so he could start afresh on his release.
Judge Christopher Batty said the burglaries he admitted were only the tip of the iceberg and while Garner would receive credit for assisting police, it was clear he had been burgling homes regularly since 2008.
The judge said: “People are entitled to feel safe and secure in their own home. They are entitled to believe the items they collect or purchase after their hard work will remain safe and secure. When their homes are violated by people like you they feel insecure.”