A MAN who stole thousands of pounds worth of jewellery during a burglary in Chester has been jailed for four years and six months.

Michael Peers, 42, of Gorton Road, Stockport, had previously pleaded guilty to burglary of a dwelling on Wednesday, November 8.

On Friday, August 4, just before 2.30pm, a resident left her home in Tarvin Road, Littleton. When she returned home shortly after 9pm, she found the rear door had been damaged using a shovel and access had been gained to the property through a ground floor window.

A large quantity of jewellery, as well as watches, was stolen, to the approximate value of £10,000. Around £2,000 worth of damage was caused to windows and doors. Officers found a gap in the hedge where they believed the offender had gained access to the grounds.

CCTV enquiries showed a red VW Golf pull up at the entrance to the property at around 2.30pm, shortly after the resident left the address.

One person was seen to exit the vehicle and look through the gates to the property. He had a conversation through the window of the Golf before walking to the hedge and disappearing. The Golf drove off but passed the address again two minutes later.

Approximately 15 minutes after the man disappeared through the hedge, he was seen carrying a bag of items and walked to the A51, where he turned right in the direction the Golf was travelling. Shortly afterwards, the Golf was then seen passing the address again.

Officers traced the vehicle to an address in Lapwing Lane in Stockport, the home address of Dane Gregory. The 40-year-old was arrested. In interview, he admitted he was in the vehicle but denied the burglary, stating he was there to walk his dogs.

Following enquiries, he was subsequently charged with burglary of a dwelling on Friday 18 August. He was sentenced to five years at Chester Crown Court on Monday 18 September.

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Telecoms work on Gregory’s phone number revealed regular contact with a phone number around the time and date of the offence, which was subscribed to Greater Manchester Probation Service. This number was subsequently attributed to Peers and was shown to be in the area with Gregory on the day of the burglary.

Peers was contacted by police and the Probation Service but he would not tell them his exact location. He was eventually located and arrested in Stockport on Monday 9 October and his mobile phone was recovered from a bush the following day.

In interview, he claimed he had no knowledge of the burglary, but Peers was charged with burglary of a dwelling on Tuesday 10 October.

Following Peers’ sentence, Detective Sergeant Stuart Needham said:  “Burglary is a terrifying offence.

"No one should have to come home to find the place where they should feel safe has been broken into and their belongings have been stolen. The emotional impact of this cannot be underestimated.

“Peers showed no regard for what he would be putting his victim through, but thanks to our investigation and the efforts of officers to trace him, he was located and made to answer for his actions.

“I hope this sentencing will provide some reassurance to residents in the area."