WHEN BURGLAR Robert Anderson was arrested for breaking into a family’s home in Henley-in-Arden, he made no comment to the police – but his phone spoke volumes.
A judge heard the phone had connected to a mast just a mile from the burgled house, then to further phone masts in two towns where a bank card taken in the raid was used.
And with the game up, Anderson of Torrington Avenue, Tile Hill, Coventry, pleaded guilty at Warwick Crown Court to the burglary and two charges of fraud.
The 23-year-old was jailed for two years – consecutive to five months of a suspended sentenced he was subject to at the time.
Prosecutor Ian Windridge said that in April last year Anderson, with two teenage accomplices, broke into a house in Glenhurst Road, Henley-in-Arden, by forcing a rear bedroom window.
They carried out an untidy search before making off with high-value electrical items, jewellery, watches, a camera, bank cards and personal document including passports.
Having left through the back door, they got into a silver Ford Focus which was picked up by a nearby CCTV camera.
The alarm was raised when a neighbour found the passports and other documents, which the raiders had discarded on their way to the car, and contacted the householder to alert him.
Meanwhile, one of the bank cards taken during the break-in was used contactless at convenience stores in Shirley and Bedworth, where an attempt was also made to sell one of the stolen watches at a jewellery shop.
CCTV and ANPR cameras had tracked the route of the Focus, with one of them being clear enough to show Anderson in the front passenger seat.
When he was arrested and interviewed at the beginning of May, he gave ‘no comment’ replies to questions, and was granted bail.
But the police seized his phone, and checks revealed it had connected to a mast just a mile from the burgled house, and then to masts in Solihull and Nuneaton.
But he still maintained his ‘no comment’ stance when he was interviewed for a second time in June.
He and his accomplices, Louis Davies and Daniel Goode, were all granted bail – but Anderson then failed to turn up for a court hearing at which the other two pleaded guilty.
They were subsequently given 20-month suspended prison sentences, and ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work each, said Mr Windridge.
He added that Anderson had 12 previous court appearances for 27 offences including burglaries, and at the time was subject to a suspended sentence for aggravated vehicle taking.
Recorder Jacqueline Carey said that, by contrast, Davies was 18, with one conviction for taking a car without consent, and Goode was 21, with one for making false representation and a caution for burglary.
Jailing Anderson, Recorder Carey told him: “You were one of a group heading out from Coventry to commit this burglary.
“You and your accomplices stole a large quantity of goods, including cameras, watches, jewellery and electrical items, and an untidy search was carried out.
“By two o’clock that afternoon you were seen at a jewellery shop trying to sell one of the watches.”