Creeper burglar jailed for 40 months for Southsea thefts

David Uniacke
 was jailed for 40 months for two burglaries.
David Uniacke was jailed for 40 months for two burglaries.

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A prolific burglar has been jailed after being caught late at night on a shed roof while carrying a black sack.

Police surrounded David Uniacke, shutting off a large number of streets in Southsea after reports of five burglaries.

We will do everything in our power to prevent and detect burglary and bring those responsible to justice

Detective Constable Jim Wells

Officers had initially been called after a woman in Hunter Road, Southsea, reported her front door was open and items taken at 11.15pm.

Then at 12.25am a resident in Rochester Road and her son were woken up by a noise at the back of their house.

James Kellam, prosecuting at Portsmouth Crown Court, said: ‘He went out into the garden and saw the defendant stood on the shed with a black sack in his hand.’

The son shouted to challenge Uniacke, but he ran off.

A bag, credit cards and other items had been taken.

Police then cordoned off St Augustine Road to catch Uniacke.

Mr Kellam added: ‘Police surrounded what amounted effectively to a block of streets in northern Southsea, with nobody coming in or out until the defendant was arrested.’

The burglaries happened overnight on July 18 this year.

Uniacke, 39, of no fixed address, has been in court 19 times for 90 offences, Mr Kellam said.

Of those crimes, 57 were for theft offences.

Since 2002 he has been sentenced to a total of 14 years for 24 burglaries.

Sarah Jones, defending, said Uniacke had been found sleeping on a shed nearby and was not confronted by the son.

Sentencing, judge Ian Pearson imposed a 40-month prison term for each offence to run concurrent.

Investigating officer Detective Constable Jim Wells said: ‘He’s a prolific burglar who commits a particular type of an offence, a night-time creeper-style burglary.’

He added that the police took burglary seriously.

‘It’s another indication of how strongly police treat the offence of burglary.

‘We will do everything in our power to prevent and detect burglary and bring those responsible to justice.

‘In normal society you’ve got an expectation you can leave your windows open, but unfortunately unscrupulous people out there will exploit that.’

Uniacke pleaded not guilty to burglaries in St Augustine Road and two in Hunter Road.

This was accepted by the Crown Prosecution Service.

He admitted burglary of two homes in Henley Road and Rochester Road.

POLICE ADVICE

Burglaries have blighted the Portsmouth area for years – and police are now giving advice to residents.

Detective Sergeant Martin Crocker said: ‘The effects of a burglary on a victim can be profoundly distressing due to the violation of privacy at home, and exceptionally emotional when treasured personal belongings of great sentimental value are stolen.

‘Investigating and solving burglaries is an important part of our regular police activity in Portsmouth and the surrounding areas.’

Advice from officers includes:

Shut all windows and lock them when not in a room.

Lock all front and rear doors at night.

Put all car keys and other keys out of sight and not in reach of windows and letterboxes.

Leave a light on so your home looks occupied.

Ensure side gates are locked to prevent access to the rear of the property.