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Anthony Eastwood has been convicted of burglary from a house on Rock Avenue, Gillingham. Kent Police identified him after he dropped his house key.

By Clare Freeman

A bungling burglar is facing three years in prison after his own house key led the police to his front door.

Anthony Noah Aaron Eastwood, 29, broke into a house on Rock Avenue, Gillingham on February 5 but dropped his key as he fled the scene.

The victim had gone to talk to a neighbour and was only away from their property for about twenty minutes when Mr Eastwood broke in and stole an ipad, television and mobile phone.

The victim returned to discover a panel on their front door had been smashed using a small stone that Mr Eastwood had found near the door.

Police officers who attended the scene discovered the key outside the back door of the property and less than an hour later, Mr Eastwood was spotted near the area before running away.

Anthony Eastwood was identified after he dropped his house key at the crime scene.

Officers went to his home in Gillingham but Mr Eastwood was not there. Following enquiries, officers established that the key belonged to Mr Eastwood and that it opened a door to his house.

He was arrested in Strood on February 11 following a short foot chase during which he assaulted a police officer in an attempt to escape. He was also found to be in possession of a kitchen knife. The following day, he also assaulted another officer.

Mr Eastwood appeared at Maidstone Crown Court on June 27 where he pleaded guilty to all charges.

He was convicted of burglary of a dwelling, possession of an offensive weapon, assault with intent to resist arrest and assaulting a constable in the execution of their duty.

Mr Eastwood was sentenced to three years eight months in prison and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £120.

DC Aaron Chapman, an investigating officer at Kent Police, said: “This burglary shows how quickly criminals can strike and the methods used to break in.

“The victim did the right thing by calling the police immediately and not touching anything until we had arrived.

“As a result we found a key the offender had dropped when making their escape at the back of the property and this gave us a lead to find the culprit and bring them to justice before the courts.”

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