Burglary pair jailed for raiding two homes

By Court Reporter Wednesday 06 November 2013 Updated: 06/11 17:28

TWO men who broke into two houses after watching the owners go out, taking jewellery of sentimental value from one and a vital work laptop from the other, have been jailed.

Steven Coombs and Stephen Hill had pleaded guilty at separate hearings to two charges of burglary.

And appearing together at Warwick Crown Court, Coombs, 33, of Wood Street, Rugby, and 36-year-old Hill, of Featherbed Lane, Hillmorton, were both jailed for three years.

Prosecutor Amy Jackson said at shortly after 7pm on July 28 police received a call reporting two men acting suspiciously on Ashlawn Road.

They had walked away when a woman disturbed them on her drive, and seven minutes later another woman called the police to report a burglary at her home on nearby Percival Road.

A minute later a man called the police to say he had just seen two men climbing into the back garden of a neighbour’s home on Ashlawn Road and then climbing back out.

He explained they were the same two men who had knocked his door shortly before and, when he answered, claimed to be looking for someone whose name he did not recognise.

The police, who were already on their way to the area, turned up in time to see Coombs cycling away from the burgled house with Hill ‘riding pillion.

They were arrested, and the police recovered items which had been stolen from both burgled houses, although the laptop and a memory stick from Percival Road were damaged.

They had important work information on them which could not be accessed because of the damage and the owner had employed an expert to try to retrieve it, said Miss Jackson.

Among the property they had taken from the house on Ashlawn Road was a jewellery box containing items of both monetary and sentimental value to the woman who lived there including items given to her by her mother and grandmother, some of which she had worn for her wedding, and an engraved silver signet ring her mother had given her when she was six.

Miss Jackson told the court at the time Hill was subject to a community order and a conditional discharge for offences of criminal damage while Coombs was subject to a community order for an offence of affray.

Barristers for both men said they had committed the offences because of their drug habits.

Judge Alan Parker told them: “It is no coincidence the occupiers were absent. I am satisfied that in each case you watched them leave, which will be a disturbing piece of knowledge for each of them.”

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