A STOURPORT man has been jailed for four and a half years for a series of burglaries in the town.

David Peoples, also known as David Rutledge, 42, of Areley Common, admitted carrying out five burglaries over the course of last summer and one offence of handling stolen goods. He asked for another eight burglaries to be taken into consideration.

Peoples was jailed for 54 months at Worcester Crown Court on December 23.

Several of the burglaries were in the Dunley Road and Areley Common area, with others in Moor Hall Lane, Lickhill Road, Gilgal, Oakhampton Road, Galahad Way and Wilden Lane.

More than £3,000 worth of items, mainly jewellery, were taken from a house in Areley Common and more than £3,000 worth of items, again mainly jewellery, from a house in Moor Hall Lane.

Peoples was caught after a further burglary at another house in Moor Hall Lane on September 15, after a neighbour rang police to say he had seen a man leaving the house and had found a window broken. Peoples was arrested in nearby woodland minutes later.

Detective Constable Marc Waring of West Mercia Police said: “Peoples is a prolific offender with a long record of previous convictions for burglary over the last 15 years.

“Between early July and mid-September there were a series of break-ins in Areley Kings and the wider Stourport area and it was quite clear these burglaries were linked.

“Most of the houses Peoples targeted were empty at the time, and in several cases the occupants were away on holiday. However at one house he came face to face with the householder, a woman in her 60s, who was shaken by the encounter.

“He stole mainly jewellery, including items of sentimental value, such as engagement and wedding rings, and a child’s christening bangle, as well as laptops and items such as MP3 players. However other items he took were very personal such as perfume, hair straighteners, and even new nightwear still in the Marks & Spencer carrier bag it had been purchased in.

“Burglary is a very distressing offence, and many victims take a long time to recover from it. We hope the victims in these particular cases will be reassured by the jail sentence imposed, and that it sends out a clear message that burglary is a serious offence and will be dealt with accordingly.”