A SERIAL burglar was collared after he used one of his victim’s mobile phones to call his girlfriend.
Liam Brown and others carried out an overnight break-in at a family home in Roker Park Road, Sunderland on September 2 and made off with a £7,000 car, keys, handbag and other personal property.
Newcastle Crown Court heard that when the householder realised a work mobile phone was missing he contacted his company’s IT department and asked for an itemised list of recent calls made.
The inquiry revealed Brown, 24, had used the stolen handset to ring his girlfriend.
Brown, of Hylton Road, Sunderland, admitted he had been lookout during the break-in and pleaded guilty to one charge of burglary and asked for six further house raids to be taken into consideration.
Judge Penny Moreland jailed him for four years.
Prosecutor Jacqueline Wilkinson told the court: “One way the police managed to trace the defendant is because as part of the householder’s job he is given a mobile phone.
“On checking the content of the mobile phone it was found this defendant had rung his girlfriend from it so clearly had access to it.”
By the time Brown was arrested the car and most of the family’s property that was taken had been sold on.
The car had been sold for just £650.
Julian Smith, defending, said Brown was to take part in a “restorative justice” scheme and hopes to meet his victims in jail to apologise in person.
Mr Smith said: “He is moving on, he is growing up, he is expecting a child and hoping to continue the relationship that is so important to him.”
Judge Moreland told Brown: “You caused a degree of distress and upset which I think you are beginning to understand.
“You do appear to have plans for the future which don’t include repeated burglaries.”