A PROLIFIC burglar from Stourport has been jailed for four and a half years.

David Peoples of Areley Common appeared at Worcester Crown Court on Monday, December 23, after admitting carrying out five burglaries last summer as well as one offence of handling stolen goods.

The 42-year-old – who is also known as David Rutledge – also asked for eight other burglaries to be taken into consideration.

The crimes took place in the Dunley Road and Areley Common area of the town as well as Moor Hill Lane, Lickhill Road, Gilgal, Oakhampton Road, Galahad Way and Wilden Lane.

He mainly stole jewellery including engagement and wedding rings as well as a child’s christening bangle, but also took laptops, MP3 players, perfume, hair straighteners, and new nightwear still in the Marks & Spencer carrier bag it had been purchased in.

He was caught after a burglary at a house in Moor Hill Lane on Sunday, September 15 after a neighbour rang police to say they had seen a man leaving the house. Officers found a window broken and arrested Peoples in woodland shortly after.

West Mercia Police Detective Constable Marc Waring described Peoples as “a prolific offender with a long record of previous convictions for burglary over the last 15 years”.

“Between early July and mid-September there were a series of break-ins in Areley Kings and the wider Stourport area and it was quite clear these burglaries were linked,” he said.

“Most of the houses Peoples targeted were empty at the time, and in several cases the occupants were away on holiday. However at one house he came face to face with the householder, a woman in her 60s, who was shaken by the encounter.

“Burglary is a very distressing offence, and many victims take a long time to recover from it.

“We hope the victims in these particular cases will be reassured by the jail sentence imposed, and that it sends out a clear message that burglary is a serious offence and will be dealt with accordingly.”