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Man jailed after stealing cash and handbags from the elderly in five separate distraction burglaries

PUBLISHED: 12:47 14 September 2018

Shaun Holland, from Cambridge, has been jailed for six years after committing five distraction burglaries. Picture: Suffolk Constabulary

Shaun Holland, from Cambridge, has been jailed for six years after committing five distraction burglaries. Picture: Suffolk Constabulary

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A man who stole handbags, jewellery and cash from elderly people in a month-long crime spree across the region has been jailed for six years.

Shaun Holland, 32, was sentenced at Norwich Crown Court on Thursday, September 17, after he admitted to four further distraction burglary offences after being charged for a distraction burglary in Lowestoft on April 20, earlier this year.

Holland, of Sackville Close, Cambridge, had claimed he needed to collect a football in the garden of the victim, an elderly woman in her 80s.

The victim allowed Holland into her house and two hours after he had spent no more than five minutes in the back garden, she realised her handbag was missing.

Holland went on to admit four further distraction burglaries in April and May this year in Lowestoft, Cromer and Caister.

The court heard he had tricked another elderly woman in Lowestoft on April 10 by claiming to be a workman doing some work in the street checking drains. He went on to steal her handbag and £200 in cash.

Holland also admitted to stealing a handbag in Cromer on April 23, a handbag and jewellery in Caister, near Great Yarmouth, on April 24, and cash and jewellery was stolen from an upstairs bedroom in Cromer on May 1.

Det Con Duncan Etchells, who is part of the Operation Converter scheme where offenders are interviewed regarding their whole criminal activity, said the offences showed the importance of not allowing strangers in to your home.

He said: “Burglary is a clear invasion of people’s homes and their personal space and can be very upsetting and distressing for the victims.

“Hopefully the sentence given in this case will provide some peace of mind to Holland’s victims and also act as a deterrent to other would-be burglars.”

He added: “I’d take this opportunity to remind householders to be vigilant. If an unexpected person calls at your house, you should ask for ID which a genuine visitor will be happy to provide.

“If you are unsure about a caller to your home, do not allow entry and call police immediately.”

According to Suffolk Police, this conviction sees the number of extra crimes being taken into consideration has reached 303 between April and August this year, which close to the total of 310 for May 2017 to April 2018.

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