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An opportunistic burglar who targeted empty houses undergoing renovations across Surrey, has now been jailed for two years after pleading guilty to a number of offences at Guildford Crown Court.
Frank Smith, 39, of Bankside Drive, Thames Ditton, was yesterday (8 November) sentenced to serve time in prison after he admitted two counts of burglary and one count of an assault on an emergency worker.
On the evening of 7 December in 2021, Smith broke into a house undergoing refurbishment in Esher and stole a power drill worth £400. As he fled the scene, he was challenged by an off-duty Metropolitan Police officer who had witnessed Smith acting suspiciously. In response Smith threatened to stab him with the drill, leading the officer to fall to the ground in his attempt to get out of harm’s way.
Not satisfied with his ill-gotten gains, Smith then drove to another empty house in Long Ditton, broke in and stole tools worth approximately £4,500.
After a thorough investigation, Smith was apprehended by police after his distinctive van was see at the locations of the burglaries and he was also caught on CCTV taking the stolen tools to a ‘Cash Converters’ shop to sell them.
Investigating Officer PC Vye said: “Smith went out on the evening of 7 December with the sole intention of burgling people’s homes to fund his own lifestyle. He had absolutely no regard for the impact that his crimes would have on those whose livelihoods depend on their work tools.
“We hope that the successful prosecution of Frank Smith and the fact that he will now spend two years behind bars, goes some way to bringing the victims some feelings of justice being served.”
Surrey Police will attend all residential burglaries and all shed, garage and outbuilding burglaries if there are positive lines of enquiries. If you think you have been burgled, we encourage you to report it to us as soon as possible via the reporting tool on our website or by calling 101. In an emergency always call 999.