Serial burglar drove off in elderly victim's car after home raid
SERIAL burglar Shaun Tomlinson has been jailed for five years and three months after raiding a pensioner's home and driving off in her car before crashing it after a frightening high-speed police chase.
He had a "horrendous" record as a career criminal and had served several lengthy prison sentences for burglary, Grimsby Crown Court heard.
Tomlinson, 29, formerly of Rutland Street, Grimsby, admitted burglary, aggravated vehicle taking, driving while banned and failing to provide a sample for drug testing on June 30.
Mark Kendall, prosecuting, said Tomlinson entered a 70-year-old woman's home in Grimsby through an unlocked conservatory and stole a haul of jewellery, handbags, other items, a marriage certificate and a death certificate for the woman's husband, who had died in March.
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He stole car keys and drove off in the pensioner's car. Police in Moody Lane at 11.46pm spotted the vehicle speeding along and followed it.
Officers had to accelerate to 70mph to catch up with the car, which had smoke coming from the tyres, and it repeatedly straddled the central line and went on to the wrong side of the road.
It hurtled along at 70mph in a 30mph limit and Tomlinson lost control before the car mounted a footpath and crashed into a gate and fence. Tomlinson ran into a field and hid until he was found about ten minutes later. Jewellery, purses, bank cards and other items from the burglary victim's home were found on him and in the car.
The widow said in a statement to court that she was "upset and angry" and felt she had been violated. She now felt like a prisoner in her own home because she was often checking for other intruders.
The widow, who did not wish to be named, later told the Grimsby Telegraph how relieved she felt at the sentence.
She said: "These burglars don't know what effect it has.
"For weeks I have been going around the house checking all the rooms and wardrobes and behind curtains in case someone has crept in again."
She added: "My daughter and her family were in the house at the time. Normally I lock the back gate, but with the family here I did not think about it.
"I still can't believe what happened. My late husband was always away at sea, but I never worried about security. Now it is awful. It makes me wary all the time."