A team of burglars have been jailed after breaking into a Leamington house and stealing expensive watches worth a total exceeding £5,000.
Brothers, Liam and Kieran Timms and three-strikes, burglar Michael Peal pleaded guilty at Warwick Crown Court to burgling the house in Southway in May.
Peal, 21, of Hillmorton Road, Coventry, was jailed for three years.
Liam Timms, 21, of Leycester Close, Harbury, and Kieran Timms, 22, of Webster Avenue, Kenilworth, who was not in court after refusing to leave his cell, were both jailed for 26 months.
All were ordered to pay a compulsory criminal court charge of £900 and a victim surcharge of £120 within two years.
Prosecutor Lee Egan said that on May 12 the owner of the house was at work when he was alerted to the burglary by his alarm system.
He returned to find a glass panel in a rear door had been smashed, and the door to his bedroom forced open by intruders who had taken six watches worth up to £5,150.
The group was caught as the house had been fitted with security cameras following an earlier burglary.
Although the images it captured could not identify the intruders, it clearly showed the distinctive clothing they were wearing.
When the police compared those images to others from CCTV cameras at a local shop, the clothing matched – and officers recognised the Timms brothers.
The court heard that Peal was with them when they were arrested, and his fingerprints matched those left on something in the shop by the person identified as having been the third intruder.
Mr Egan said the family were left distressed and have since moved following a third break-in.
He also said that Peal was on bail at the time for an earlier burglary which had taken place at a couple’s home in Long Street, Bulkington, at the end of April.
Mr Egan added that while Peal was a “third strike burglar”, the Timms brothers also had previous convictions, including one for burglary, and Kieran was on licence at the time.
Amy Jacobs, for Peal, said he knew he was going to get a sentence of at least 29 months, even after being given credit for his guilty pleas.
She said he had ‘a rather sad family situation,’ and after his release from his last sentence in October he had nowhere to live and was staying with friends, including the Timms’s, and no legitimate source of income.
Jailing Peal, Judge Richard Griffith-Jones told him: “Burglars of dwelling houses run the risk of creating a devastating response. It really is a traumatic experience.”
Amy Jackson, for Liam Timms, conceded that burglars who steal watches run the risk that they have sentimental value, but there was no evidence of that in this case.
She said that as a result of their association with another person, there had been a threat to the brothers’ lives.
And Benedict Galetti, for Kieran, said that was supported by the fact that the police had given them both a formal notice that they were in danger.
Judge Griffith-Jones told the brothers: “I have heard of the impact on the victim, and I’m afraid I have no doubt this was a category one burglary.”