Burglar caught after leaving phone and tools at Grimsby home he had just broken into
PROLIFIC burglar Scott Barker was caught red-handed after leaving his mobile phone at the scene of a burglary.
The abandoned phone was ringing when police arrived at the unoccupied Harold Street address of retired resident Ronald Collins.
The caller’s name “Babe” was illuminated as it rang.
Police were minutes later confronted by Jessica Hines asking for help with an alleged fire at her address.
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Gordon Stables, prosecuting, told Grimsby Crown Court that the woman was trying to “distract” officers as boyfriend Barker tried to retrieve his phone from the rear of the property.
Barker had forced his way into the terraced property through a rear window and left with stolen jewellery by the same route.
Barker, 38, of Wellington Street, Grimsby admitted the burglary committed on November 12 and two offences of shop theft in November.
He was locked up by Recorder Paul Miller for nine months for the burglary and four months each for the two shoplifting offences, to run concurrently.
Mr Stables told the court Mr Collins had gone out for the afternoon when Barker forced a rear window. He stole jewellery and bank cards.
As he left the home he dropped his mobile phone and the tool he used to force his entry.
Mr Stables said Ms Hines turned up at the address in Harold Street to alert them to an alleged fire at her own nearby home.
“She wanted the officers to come away from the house. This was a clumsy attempt to distract the police so the defendant could retrieve his phone.”
She was searched and officers found the wallet with the bank cards. When Barker and Ms Hines were arrested, Barker admitted the burglary and she was released without charge.
The prosecutor told the court Barker had 109 offences on his record and had been sentenced 31 times, including for burglary.
He said the two offences of shoplifting were both committed at the Asda superstore in Holles Street, Grimbsby, where Barker had filled a trolley with £549 worth of goods and left without paying on November 10.
He returned on November 15 and committed the same offence, this time filling a trolley with £701 worth of goods and leaving without paying.
For Barker, Robert Underwood said his client was “driven by a need for money.” He had been deprived of benefits.
He said: “There was no sophistication about the offences. What professional burglar leaves his mobile phone at the scene?”
He said his client’s drug dependance was reducing. He said his client had not committed any offences since 2008, prior to the latest offences.