Portsmouth burglar snared in Australia after stealing £70,000 worth of watches from Southsea home

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A MAN has been sentenced after he was caught in Australia over a £70,000 watch burglary.

Joseph Crew, 31, of Liverpool Road in Portsmouth, stole nine Rolex watches and a Girard-Perregaux watch from a house in Southsea in January this year.

A file photo of Portsmouth Crown Court

A file photo of Portsmouth Crown Court

One of the watches was recovered after Rolex contacted police to report a stolen watch had been sent to them for servicing.

Hampshire Constabulary contacted police forces and border control agencies in other countries in a bid to stop the watches being taken overseas.

Crew was then detained in Australia, and the Australian Federal Police recovered four of the watches, along with receipts for two more, which had been sold in Malaysia.

He was handed a two-year suspended sentence, and has been ordered to complete 150 hours of unpaid work after pleading guilty to burglary.

Hampshire police are now reminding people of the importance of registering their valuables with IMMOBILISE.

Detective Constable Charlie Cox said: ‘This case stresses the importance of registering the serial numbers of goods of value, on sites such as the free immobilise.com

‘We had no forensic evidence, our only line of enquiry was around the serial numbers on the watches.

‘I would like to thank Australian Federation Police, Australian Border Force, Etihad Airlines, Rolex, Pristine Watches of Knightsbridge and Watches and Jewellery of Bond Street, for their cooperation and assistance, which has helped bring Crew to justice and return the majority of the watches back to their rightful owner.’