Burglar spotted in stolen car after stealing from home in Hythe has been jailed
Vincent Smith was caught after stealing thousands of pounds worth of property and sentimental jewellery from a home in Hythe on Monday 18 December 2017.
The court heard how he used a car he stole from a house in Cheltenham the previous month in order to carry out this crime in Kent.
A witness saw the car near to the property in Hythe at the time of the burglary, between 2pm and 3pm, and reported it to Kent Police.
Officers were able to link the car, travelling on false plates in Kent, to Smith aged 37, through a number of enquiries including collaboration with Gloucestershire Constabulary and the use of automatic number plate recognition.
Smith was spotted driving the vehicle in the Folkestone area on Tuesday 19 December 2017 and tried to evade police. He dumped the car in a cul-de-sac and hid the keys under some pebbles.
However the car was later found and when searched officers discovered stolen goods inside belonging to the victims of the burglary in Hythe.
Arrested and questioned in Kent
Smith of The Cloisters, Bishop’s Cleave in Cheltenham was arrested in Gloucestershire on Thursday 21 December 2017 and brought to Kent for questioning.
He admitted to the burglary in Hythe and was later sentenced to three years and four months in prison at Gloucestershire Crown Court on Friday 12 October 2018. His prison sentence included his conviction for burgling the house in Cheltenham where he stole the car.
Kent Police investigating officer Detective Constable Bethany Gumley said: ‘The items taken during the Hythe break-in were of great sentimental value to the victims and are simply irreplaceable, many of which we’ve been unable to recover.
‘Burglary can have such a devastating effect on people and thankfully by working with witnesses and Gloucestershire Constabulary we have been able to seek justice for the victims.’