A burglar who was caught on camera at a house in Climping, in footage which was widely circulated on social media, has been jailed for three years.
In a statement, police said: “Colin Ellinor used a brick to smash a window and enter the property in Horsemere Green Lane on 20 July, where he stole a quantity of cash and jewellery totalling approximately £3,000.
“This included two wedding rings, a gold and platinum set diamond ring, and cash from children’s money boxes.”
The footage, which included Ellinor looking directly at the lens, led a retired officer to identify the suspect, police confirmed.
Further reports from members of the public were also received following a wanted person appeal issued on July 31, they said.
The statement added: “Despite the appeal for his whereabouts being published, Ellinor continued to offend. On August 7, he was again spotted by motion sensor cameras attempting to gain entry into a house in North Bersted Street, Bognor Regis.
“Images of this incident were again circulated on Facebook, following which several people contacted him with the same name – Colin Ellinor.”
The 55-year-old, of no fixed address, was spotted by members of the public in Bognor Regis the following day (August 8) and arrested by police – he was subsequently charged with the burglary in Climping, and with attempted burglary with intent to steal in relation to the incident in Bognor Regis, police confirmed.
At Lewes Crown Court today, (September 6), Ellinor pleaded guilty to both offences and was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment for each offence, to run concurrently.
The sentencing also took into account two separate offences of burglary – in Church Lane, Bognor Regis on July 30 and in Bersted Street, Bognor Regis on August 3, police said.
Detective constable Jon Woolley, of the West Sussex Community Investigation Team, said: “Social media played a key role in bringing this prolific burglar to justice. He was initially recognised by a retired police officer following the incident in Climping, and after further CCTV images of the attempted burglary in North Bersted Street, Bognor Regis were circulated, we received several more calls from members of the public who nominated the same suspect.
“CCTV and motion sensor cameras are becoming more affordable and more widely available, and in these cases they provided vital evidence which led to Ellinor’s conviction.
“The incidents have left the victims understandably distressed, and I hope it gives them peace of mind that this serial offender is now behind bars.”