Tunbridge Wells burglars foiled by residents and officers
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Two burglars have been jailed after one of them was tackled by workmen and a retired police officer in Tunbridge Wells.
During the afternoon of 21 October 2022, Nabil Abozid and Nigel Williams travelled from London by train with the intention of breaking into residents’ homes.
They first gained entry to a house in Church Road but were disturbed by the occupants in the hallway. The intruders pretended they had been looking for bed and breakfast lodgings, asked the victims not to call the police, and then left.
A short while later, the pair managed to open the front door of a property in Meadow Hill but were unable to get into one of the internal flats.
They then rang the doorbell at a house occupied by a retired police officer who, suspecting their motives, followed them as they made their way to Mount Pleasant Avenue.
Once there, the pair entered another house but were disturbed by a woman who chased them outside. The victim called to some workmen to stop the burglars and one of them tripped Abozid who fell to the floor.
He was briefly restrained by one of the workmen and the retired police officer but broke free. His escape was brief as he was detained a short distance away by officers who swiftly arrived at the scene.
Abozid, of Blackfriars Road, Lambeth was taken into custody and later charged with three burglaries.
His accomplice made his way back to London while persistently ringing Abozid’s mobile phone, which by then had been seized by the police. Williams was promptly identified as the second offender and arrested at his home address on the following day.
Williams, of Druid Street, Bermondsey was also charged with three burglaries.
Both men pleaded guilty at Maidstone Crown Court and on Wednesday 13 September 2023, 47-year-old Abozid was sentenced to three years and three months’ imprisonment and 50-year-old Williams was jailed for three years and ten months.
Detective Constable Kim Bashford, of West Kent CID, said: ‘These criminals expected to plunder properties in Kent and return to London without being detected. They failed in their plan and were confronted by courageous residents who found them intruding into their homes. ‘I would like to thank those whose public-spirited intervention delayed one of the fleeing suspects, while a quick response from local patrols ensured he was detained nearby. ‘Our message to offenders who consider travelling into our county is clear. You will be identified, tracked down and will answer for your crimes before the courts.’