A thief who broke into his elderly victims’ home and ransacked it while they were out has been jailed for almost three years.
Lee Conroy, formerly of North Road, Queenborough, was arrested on Sunday, June 30 – four days after the break-in.
The elderly couple had returned to their home in Minster Road, Minster, after taking their grandson to church and found their rear conservatory doors had been forced open and inside doors smashed.
Conroy had gone through their belongings and stolen a silver box containing more than £1,000 worth of jewellery, including a medical alert bracelet and wedding ring.
It was later discovered he had forced his way in using a wooden chisel, which was found in the back garden along with some items of clothing matching a description of what he was wearing when he was last seen by officers.
DNA matching Conroy’s was found on the chisel.
When the 22-year-old was searched after his arrest, which was for breaching his court bail for another burglary – for which he was later released without charge – he was found with a cufflink in his pocket which had been stolen from the Minster Road address.
He admitted one charge of burglary at Maidstone Crown Court on Friday and was jailed for 34 months.
Investigating officer DC Richard Allingham said: “Conroy was totally unrepentant when we arrested him, despite the fact he broke his way into the house of an elderly couple and ransacked their home trying to find items of value to steal.
“What he ended up with was a haul of jewellery with great sentimental value, but his own carelessness helped us get him bang to rights.
“In interview, he offered no explanation at all as to how the cufflink got in his pocket nor how his DNA ended up on the chisel.
“I trust this lengthy sentence will give him adequate time to think about how this might have happened and to come to some real conclusions about the effect his disgraceful behaviour has on others.
“Burglary leaves victims feeling violated and afraid in their own homes, and this is something Kent Police simply will not tolerate.”