Burglar snared by cigarette
Dated: 27 Apr 2010
Vigilant residents have helped put a Newcastle burglar behind bars.
Christopher Lindsay Spry, 22, of Clara Street, was jailed for three years when he appeared at Newcastle Crown Court for sentence on Friday April 23, 2010.
He had stolen electrical items during a burglary at a house in Brackenfield Road, Gosforth on April 1 2009. Officers investigating the burglary took details of the stolen items - including serial numbers that the householder had kept safe. Spry was later found in possession of a stolen digital camera.
And a neighbour had picked up a cigarette butt from outside the victim's house after remembering he'd seen young people outside the house on the night of the burglary.
This cigarette butt was sent away for forensic examination and it was established it had definitely been smoked by Spry. He pleaded guilty to burglary and appeared at Crown Court on Friday for sentence.
Detective Constable Grant Falconer, of Gosforth CID, led the investigation into Spry. He said: "This was a nasty burglary during which the house was ransacked and a host of property was stolen, notably a digital camera which proved pivotal to the successful detection of the crime. Also of assistance was the fact the resident was able to provide serial numbers for many of the electrical items taken.
"Some days after the burglary Spry was stopped and searched in the Blyth area and found to be in possession of a digital camera. Because we had the serial number of the camera we were able to link it to the burglary.
"A cigarette butt found outside the address also proved valuable. It was sent off for DNA examination which conclusively proved that Spry had smoked it.
"I'm pleased with the sentence passed today, which shows what can be done when we all work together, including taking crime prevention steps and being vigilant with regards to what's happening in your neighbourhood.
"I'd also urge people to make a note of serial numbers on their property, especially electrical goods, as this case proves the value of taking such crime prevention measures.
"We're determined to tackle the people who cause the most disruption in our neighbourhoods and have them brought to justice for the crimes they commit. Anyone who has information about crime and disorder in their community should contact police."