Prolific burglar sentenced after string of offences across Surrey and Sussex
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A 20 year old man from Caterham has been jailed for eight years following a number of burglaries in areas including Redhill, Dorking and Horsham.
Billy Hodge, 20 of Stanstead Road, Caterham appeared at Kingston Crown Court on Thursday, 23 January. He was sentenced to eight years behind bars after pleading guilty to 27 counts of burglary and theft. Another man, Matthew Phillips, 21 of no fixed address was also charged with assisting Hodge on one of these charges and was given an 18 month suspended sentence.
Billy Hodge was arrested in February 2019 following a warrant whereby officers seized over 100 items of stolen property including power tools and high value machinery as well as £12,000 cash. Matthew Phillips was forensically linked to a stolen vehicle from a car garage in Betchworth in January 2019. He pleaded guilty to this offence alongside Hodge.
Detective Constable Elliott Abdo said “This series of thefts and commercial burglaries, which spanned from December 2018 to February 2019 had a significant impact on businesses in Surrey and Sussex. The total value of property stolen, damage caused and loss of earnings is in excess of £500k.
“Hodge and Phillips did not care about the impact their offending would have on businesses, or their owners and have only offered remorse on the day they were being sentenced at Kingston Crown Court.
“We are pleased with the sentence given at court, which reflects the seriousness of this offending and sends clear message that burglary and theft will not be tolerated in Surrey.
“I would like to say is that this has been a long and protracted investigation conducted by Proactive CID and the Tandridge Safer neighbourhood team along with colleagues in Sussex police.
“I would also like to thank all of the victims for their patience and for assisting us throughout this investigation.”
Surrey Police encourages all victims of burglary and theft to report to us by calling 101 and always calling 999 in an emergency.
In this case, Hodge targeted businesses in rural areas, stealing property including machinery and tools. To prevent your business becoming a target, we recommend you:
- Ensure your business property has CCTV fitted
- Install security lighting and suitable alarms
- Your machinery and power tools are registered and serial numbers are logged
- Register items with immobilise. More information here: https://www.immobilise.com/
For more crime prevention advice visit: https://www.surrey.police.uk/cp/crime-prevention/