A PROLIFIC burglar has been jailed as part of a major crackdown on house break-ins.
Paul Yardley was inside a bungalow filling his pockets with rings and earrings when PC Matt Songhurst, who was on patrol in the area with his dog Mitch, was alerted by neighbours to suspicious noises and rushed to the scene, shortly before 6pm on February 4.
PC Songhurst spotted Yardley inside the home near Worthing and raced to the back door of the home.
The sight of a barking hound and the shouts of the officer were enough to convince him to drop to the floor and give himself up.
Yardley, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to burglary when he appeared at Chichester Crown Court.
The 29-year-old also admitted breaking into six homes in Medstead, Winchester, Wonston and Sutton Scotney, in Hampshire, as well as one in Warminster, Wiltshire – all between 26 January and 2 February.
Yardley, who had 22 previous convictions for burglary, was jailed for four years and eight months.
His conviction was part of Sussex Police’s Operation Magpie.
As part of the operation, two men were charged with a burglary in Salvington Road, Worthing, on March 30.
Billy Way, 25, of no fixed address, was charged with burglary and Andrew Smith, 29, of Leominster Road, Paulsgrove, Portsmouth, was charged with burglary, dangerous driving, driving without insurance and driving while disqualified.
Both are due to appear at Chichester Crown Court on Friday
Anyone with information about burglaries can call 101.