Last week Lee Harpin, aged 27, of Gascoigne Crescent Harrogate, was sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment at York Crown Court after pleading guilty to committing a two-in-one burglary in Knaresborough.
On 10 March 2012, Harpin broke the security chain on the back door of a property on Bond End and once inside took the keys to a silver Toyota Avensis.
After stealing the vehicle he crashed it a short distance away on Knaresborough Road and ran into nearby fields. His scent was picked up by a police dog and he was arrested at the entrance to Harrogate Golf Club, covered in mud and missing a shoe.
Another man, Adam May, aged 24, who was responsible for a burglary at St John Fisher School in December 2011 was jailed for three years earlier this month.
The sentences have pleased officers who have seen a 52% decrease in year-on-year burglary figures in Harrogate.
This time last year there had been 171 burglaries in the area compared to 81 so far this year.
The dramatic reduction in offences is a result of focusing police attention on the criminals that they know are committing the most crime and working to support the Harrogate Community Safety Partnership ‘STOP BURGLARY’ campaign.
Detective Inspector Maria Taylor, of Harrogate CID, said:
It is very pleasing that two offenders who are well known to the police are behind bars and I am delighted that we are seeing a real decrease in the number of homes being burgled.
Although there has been a large reduction, I am mindful that 81 people have still been victims of burglary this year and we will not stop until that figure is reduced even further.
Having said that, the reduction is really positive news and shows that we are heading in the right direction.
Burglary is a horrible crime to fall victim to and I hope the residents of Harrogate can see that we are making the effort to ensure that their homes are safe from criminals.
Superintendant Barry Smith, Harrogate Safer Neighbourhood Commander, said:
I am delighted that there has been such a big reduction in the number of burglary victims in Harrogate this year.
Our officers have put a great deal of effort into catching and convicting offenders and their hard work is beginning to pay off, as is the excellent prevention work delivered by the Harrogate Community Safety Partnership.
If you would like to report a burglary, contact North Yorkshire Police on 101.
Alternatively, Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111.