A court has heard that a repeat offender with 19 convictions for 54 offences broke into a police officer’s house and stole items, including a TV, a vacuum cleaner, and a packet of chocolate biscuits.
Michael Russell, 35, got into the home in Hartlepool around 05:00 hours on 16th December last year.
Teesside Crown Court heard he took “everything valuable that he could carry and walked out of the back door”.
The police officer returned from work in the early morning hours to find several items were missing.
She woke her partner up to ask: “Where’s the TV?”
Prosecutor Daniel Broadbent said that Russell got into the house through an unsecured downstairs window.
Forensic officers were able to trace the break-in back to Russell – who was still wearing the trainers matching the footprints left in the house when he was arrested.
When officers raided Russell’s address, they found him watching the stolen TV eating the biscuits, which Russell had also stolen from the victim’s address.
When he was arrested he told police: “It’s not burglary, it’s handling stolen goods” before claiming that a friend had left all the possessions in his flat; and that he suspected they were stolen but didn’t know where from.
At a previous hearing, Michael Russell of Cornwall Street in Hartlepool pleaded guilty to burglary and failing to surrender to bail.
The court heard that he has 19 convictions for 54 offences, including theft. After failing to attend a court hearing on 21st Jan, Russell was taken into custody.
Mr Broadbent told the court that the police officer who lives at the house no longer feels safe when she is on her own and wants to move away.
Judge Anthony Dunne told Russell that his intrusion into the couple’s home had caused them “a great deal of stress and worry”. He was sent to prison for 15 months.
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