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Chesterfield distraction burglar jailed

A man who was caught on camera stealing from an elderly woman in her own home in Chesterfield has been sent to prison for four years.

Thomas Sykes, of Thingley Caravan Site, Easton Lane in Chippenham pleaded guilty to burglary when he appeared at Derby Crown Court on Friday 8th July.

The 24-year old was arrested after officers investigating the crime released CCTV taken within the home of the 73-year old woman who fell victim to his tricks to gain access to her bungalow.

The CCTV showed a man, who claimed to be from the local council, enter the home and steal her handbag.

Derbyshire Police says the incident happened between 11.40am and 11.55am on Monday 15th February at a bungalow on Boythorpe Road. Sykes went into the woman’s home on the pretext of talking to her about plans for the garden and after speaking to her for about 10 minutes snatched her bag from beside her chair.

Once the CCTV had been released it gained nationwide publicity and as a direct result of that police officers arrested and charged Sykes’ twin brother, of Calne in Wiltshire. Charges again him were discontinued after Thomas was arrested and charged with the offence, which he later admitted at court.

The woman’s purse was later found at around 12.30pm on the same day at the roadside on West Street near the junction with Foljambe Road.

Speaking after sentencing DC Damian Lowe said: “Thomas Sykes was arrested on 6th May and appeared before magistrates the next day. The CCTV images proved invaluable in providing overwhelming evidence against Sykes.”

“The response we had from the public was phenomenal and I’d like to thank everyone who contact us with information.”

Skyes’ four year sentence was imposed because this was his third similar conviction.

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