The selfish actions of a brazen burglar who treated himself to tea at Burger King with a stolen bank card have been slammed by police.
The thief sneaked into the property while the occupants were inside and made away with a wallet and purse. He then used the stolen cards to spend over £100 on goods including clothes, beer and chocolate.
He also bought a meal deal at Burger King during his hour-long spending splurge, before the quick-fire transactions prompted a suspicious alert sent to the victim by the bank.
Spencer, of Front Road, Ford Estate, Sunderland, has been jailed for three-and-a-half years after pleading guilty two counts of burglary and three charges of fraud by false representation at Newcastle Crown Court.
Detective Constable Alex Hadwin, of Northumbria Police, said: “Knowing an intruder has sneaked into your home can be incredibly unnerving for a victim, given the highly-intrusive nature of the crime.
“Steven Spencer showed little regard for his victims and then had the audacity to go to the pub and Burger King to spend their hard-earned money as part of an opportunistic spending spree.
“His selfish actions were totally unacceptable. I would like to reassure our communities that we are committed to tackling burglary and will actively pursue burglars to ensure they are brought to justice.
“Quite often, these types of incidents that we deal with at this time of year involve doors or windows not being locked or valuables being left on display.
“I would therefore ask residents to take an extra moment to check their front doors or locked, and make sure possessions such as bags, wallets and car keys are kept out of view and away from front doors or open windows.”
He was also charged with a second burglary, which occurred on St Luke’s Terrace on February 23, after his blood was found on a broken window.
At an earlier hearing Spencer, who has nine previous burglary convictions, had pleaded guilty to two counts of burglary and three counts of fraud by false representation.