A prolific burglar has been jailed for five years after a judge heard he was responsible for £30,000 of crime in Whitby and several thousands more across North Yorkshire.
Steven Paul Garner struck at homes from Whitby to Halifax and Cleckheaton to Malton during the last six years, with items stolen including valuable jewellery, irreplaceable photographs and medals worth £100,000 in total.
Michael Smith, prosecuting, told Leeds Crown Court on Tuesday, that Garner went out with police pointing out properties he had raided as part of his “clean slate” policy.
Garner (37) of West Bowling, Bradford, admitted three offences of burglary and asked for 71 other offences including 45 burglaries and 19 attempted house burglaries to be taken into consideration.
One of the biggest hauls was at a house in Pembroke Way, Whitby, when £30,000 in property was stolen.
Some of the items belonged to deceased relatives of the occupant and included photographs of theirparents which were irreplaceable.
The victim of that burglary said: “The main pain to me is that all my precious memories have been taken away from me.”
Garner also took £10,000 worth of property from a house in York, £2,000 from a house in Cleckheaton and property from a house in Malton. He was traced by a bus ticket he had left at the scene.
Anne-Marie Hutton for Garner said he felt genuine remorse for his actions which was why he had tried to help the police.
“He accepts the extreme misery he has brought into the lives of these individuals by his offending.”
Jailing Garner, Judge Christopher Batty said the three burglaries he admitted were only the tip of the iceberg of his offending.
While he would receive credit for the significant assistance to the police it was clear he had been burgling homes regularly since 2008.
The judge added: “People are entitled to feel safe and secure in their own home.
“They are entitled to believe the items they collect or purchase after their hard work will remain safe and secure.
“When their homes are violated by people like you they feel insecure.”