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Maidstone distraction burglar jailed for 9 years after being caught on CCTV outside victim's home

A distraction burglar from Maidstone has been jailed after CCTV caught him pretending to be a plumber.

John Gallagher targeted a woman in her 80s in Fant in September last year.

Appearing in a high-vis jacket, Gallagher told his victim her neighbour's house had flooded and he needed to come in and turn off the water supply.

He entered and asked the victim to stand in the kitchen, then walked out of sight towards the bathroom.

Gallagher shouted for her to turn the taps on and off repeatedly.

After growing suspicious, the pensioner asked him to leave.

John Gallagher, from Maidstone, has been jailed for 9 years (10908797)
John Gallagher, from Maidstone, has been jailed for 9 years (10908797)

She later found her handbag had been moved in an adjacent room and more than £200 had been stolen.

Gallagher, 49, of Pudding Lane, Maidstone pleaded not guilty, despite being caught on CCTV.

He was convicted on Tuesday after a two day trial and jailed for nine years.

District Commander, Chief Inspector Ray Quiller said: "This was a despicable crime targeting a pensioner who thought she was helping a neighbour.

"The victim correctly became suspicious and bravely ordered him to leave but he had already stolen her money.

"It is right that Gallagher is serving a long jail sentence and vulnerable residents are protected from his criminality.

"I would like to commend the victim and witnesses for their assistance in bringing this burglar to justice."

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