Crooks behind bars in police crackdown

Court news. NNL-160706-163936001
Court news. NNL-160706-163936001

Two burglars from Chronicle country are behind bars as part of Bedfordshire Police’s Operation Fidelity initiative.

Peter Smith, 33, of Hitchin Road, Arlesey, will serve a total of four years for his part in offences across the county. On 5 July he was sentenced to two years after pleading guilty to handling stolen goods and attempted burglary, in relation to break-ins in Biggleswade and Wrestlingworth in December 2015 and January 2016.

Smith was linked to the Biggleswade offence after stolen items were found during a search warrant at his home address. Officers were also able to link him to the Wrestlingworth break-in by locating his vehicle shortly after the offence was reported, having made off from the scene.

He was also re-sentenced to serve two years’ imprisonment, reduced after previously admitting five burglaries during a suspended sentence, as part of the Integrated Offender Management scheme.

Frankie O’Leary, 18, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to a number of distraction burglaries in Potton, Sandy and Biggleswade in May. O’Leary had also admitted a further offence in the London area.

During one of the offences in Potton on 25 May, O’Leary carried out a distraction burglary against an elderly woman by claiming he was from a housing association. The vigilant victim asked to see an ID and refused to give O’Leary any money when he could not produce any, before calling her local housing association and the police.

O’Leary was arrested by officers who spotted his vehicle in the area before pursuing him on foot. Investigators were then able to link him to four similar offences, each of which involved the targeting of an elderly victim.

At Luton Crown Court on26 July O’Leary was sentenced to a total of three years behind bars for the offences, and the court also took into consideration three further offences he had admitted, which occurred in Sandy and Upper Caldecote also during May.

Detective Sergeant Tammy Scrivens, from the burglary cohort team which supports Operation Fidelity, said: “The message to burglars is clear – you are not welcome in Bedfordshire and we’ll do everything in our power to disrupt your activity and bring you to justice for your crimes.”