REGIONAL: Burglar caught on camera as he stole cash from children's money boxes
A burglar has been jailed for three years after being caught on camera stealing jewellery and cash from a house.
Sussex Police said Colin Ellinor used a brick to smash a window and enter the house in Climping on July 20, where he stole goods totalling about £3,000.
It included two wedding rings, a gold and platinum set diamond ring, and cash from money boxes.
The incident was captured on a motion-sensor camera, which showed him looking directly at the lens.
The footage was widely shared on Facebook, and Ellinor was identified by several people including a retired police officer.
A wanted person appeal was launched on July 31, but despite this Ellinor continued to offend and was spotted on camera trying to break into a house in Bognor Regis on August 7.
The following day he was arrested in Bognor after being spotted by passers-by.
The 55-year-old, of no fixed address, was charged with the burglary in Climping and with attempted burglary with intent to steal in relation to the incident in Bognor Regis.
At Lewes Crown Court on September 6, Ellinor pleaded guilty to both offences and was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment for each offence, to run concurrently.
Two separate burglary offences – in Church Lane, Bognor Regis on July 30 and in Bersted Street, Bognor Regis on August 3 – were also taken into account on sentencing.
Detective Constable Jon Woolley, of the West Sussex Community Investigation Team, said: ‘Social media played a key role in bringing this prolific burglar to justice.
‘He was initially recognised by a retired police officer following the incident in Climping, and after further CCTV images of the attempted burglary in North Bersted Street, Bognor Regis were circulated, we received several more calls from members of the public who nominated the same suspect.
‘CCTV and motion sensor cameras are becoming more affordable and more widely available, and in these cases they provided vital evidence which led to Ellinor’s conviction.
‘The incidents have left the victims understandably distressed, and I hope it gives them peace of mind that this serial offender is now behind bars.’