Man sentenced after neighbour comes to aid of elderly burglary victim
A prolific burglar has been sentenced following a burglary in Weybridge in early April.
On the morning of Saturday, 6 April, the elderly victim returned home and heard footsteps upstairs. Leaving the premises and locking the door behind her, the resident turned to her neighbour and a workman for help.
The pair entered and saw a man, later identified as James Anthony Hall, 43, of Margaret Lockwood Close, Kingston upon Thames, coming down the stairs with a screwdriver raised above his head. One of the men and a passer-by restrained him while the neighbour called 999. Police arrived four minutes after the call was received and arrested Hall on suspicion of aggravated burglary before taking him into custody. Items of jewellery were found in the back pocket of Hall’s trousers.
Investigating officer, PC Dave Baldwin of Elmbridge Neighbourhood Patrol Team, said: “We know that burglary can be a traumatic and upsetting crime for victims so we hope that Hall’s his sentence goes some way to reassuring residents that burglary is taken incredibly seriously.
“I would also like to thank the neighbour, plumber and passer-by who managed to detain Hall and call 999, which ensured his swift arrest and ultimately brought to justice.”
Appearing at Kingston Crown Court on Tuesday, 28 May, James Anthony Hall entered a guilty plea and was given a five year, three month custodial sentence.
Follow our guidance below to help protect your home and belongings from burglars:
- Lock your doors and windows every time you leave the house, even when you're just out in the garden, remembering to double-lock UPVC doors
- Hide all keys, including car keys, out of sight and away from the letterbox (remember a device could be used to hook and remove keys through the letterbox) if possible keep them in a metal container
- Remove valuables from view of ground floor windows
- Store any high value items (i.e. jewellery, passports) in a correctly installed safe
- Install an intruder alarm - If it is to be monitored, ensure it is NSI or SIA registered
- Install dusk to dawn outside lighting around your property
- Get a trusted neighbour to keep an eye on your property if you are out for long periods or away on holiday
- Leave lights and a radio/TV on in your house or on a timer to make the property appear occupied
- Make sure the fences around your garden are in good condition and ensure side gates are locked to prevent access to the rear of the property
- Secure bikes at home by locking them to an immoveable object inside a locked shed or garage
- Keep ladders and tools stored away; don't leave them outside where they could be used to break into your home
- Make it hard for thieves to hide by keeping foliage and bushes trimmed and neat around the edges of your property
- Mark your property with a forensic marking product such as SelectaDNA and register your property with Immobilise
- Consider joining or forming a Neighbourhood Watch scheme
To help make our county a no-go area for burglars, we have become a SelectaDNA force. SelectaDNA is a forensic marking product that acts as a deterrent to burglars. For Surrey residents, a discount of 50% with free P&P is available on SelectaDNA Home kits. Just visit www.selectadna.co.uk and use the discount code ‘DNASURREY50’ to order a kit for just £29.75.
For more advice on keeping your home safe and secure, visit our website: www.surrey.police.uk/burglary