Published: 15:27, 13 August 2020
| Updated: 15:29, 13 August 2020
Two burglars who were apprehended by police just minutes after they broke into a house have been jailed.
Lee Ball and William Stone stole a Land Rover as well as items including jewellery and a laptop, after forcing their way into a property in Vanity Lane, Linton.
The victim returned home at around 10am on October 19 to find their property had been ransacked and the Land Rover was missing from the driveway.
As he entered the house, two men were seen to scale a fence and flee.
Police were called and the victim told officers about a suspicious VW Golf which had been seen close to the scene.
It was a getaway car being driven by Ball and was spotted a short while later by a police patrol in Tovil.
They followed to Quarry Road where the car was stopped and stolen jewellery was found inside.
"Burglary is still a rare crime, but it often has a devastating effect."
Ball and Stone were arrested, and when Stone was searched officers also found a key to the stolen Land Rover in his pocket.
The stolen vehicle was later found with the stolen laptop in its foot well.
Two other men were arrested in connection with the burglary, which happened at around 10am on October 19, but there was insufficient evidence to charge them.
Appearing at Maidstone Crown Court, Ball, 44, of Gallants Lane, East Farleigh, denied charges of burglary and theft of a motor vehicle.
He was convicted after a trial, following which he then admitted two counts of handling stolen goods in relation to another case.
On August 6, Ball was sentenced to four years and two months’ imprisonment.
Stone, 29, of Gosling Walk, Maidstone, had previously admitted counts of burglary and theft of a motor vehicle. He was sentenced to two years and three months’ imprisonment.
DC Billie-Louise Keane, of the Chief Constable’s Crime Squad, said: "Ball is a prolific and repeat offender, the likes of whom cause nothing but misery and distress to countless victims.
"Fortunately, on this occasion both he and Stone were disturbed at the scene and a swift response from our patrols has thankfully led to their arrests and the recovery of some of the stolen property.
"Burglary is still a rare crime, but it often has a devastating effect on the victims and I want to reassure the public we are doing all we can to bring arrests and charges against those responsible."