Police issue warning to burglars who target properties in Norwich

A detective has today warned people who break into and steal from properties in Norwich will be caught and sent to prison as officers continue to drive down the number of burglaries in the city.

Detective Sergeant Robin Windsor Waite from Norwich police's tactical crime unit said reducing burglary offences was a priority for officers who were focused on targeting offenders and those suspected of being involved in handling stolen property.

He said: 'As a result, the burglary rate in Norwich continues to fall. Since March there have been 114 burglaries in the city compared to 128 for the same period in 2011, representing a reduction of more than 10pc. More importantly, it means there have been 14 fewer burglary victims and Norwich now has one of the lowest burglary rates in the country.'

The burglary warning comes as 44-year-old Robert Francis, right, of Golding Place, Norwich was jailed for five years after pleading guilty to two counts of burglary.

Francis appeared at Norwich Crown on July 11 in relation to an offence on April 4 where he broke into a house in College Road after smashing a pane of glass in the front door before reaching in to open it.

Once inside Francis stole a Samsung laptop, car key, jewellery, candlesticks and an iPod.

Forensic inquiries carried out at the scene led officers to arrest Francis who was interviewed at Wymondham Police Investigation Centre and later charged with the offence. He was remanded in custody to appear at court where he secured bail. It was while on bail that Francis committed another burglary at a three-storey house in Bracondale on June 26. He stole antique silverware, ornaments and cash, and was arrested as he fled the address.

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Det Sgt Windsor Waite said: 'Discovering that you've been burgled is an incredibly upsetting and stressful experience that can often leave victims feeling violated and vulnerable. The sentence passed on Francis demonstrates how seriously the courts regard these offences and this should act as a warning to others.'

Have you got a crime story for the Evening News? Email crime correspondent Peter walsh on peter.walsh@archant.co.uk