Burglar jailed over late-night raids as residents slept
- Credit: Devon & Cornwall Police
A burglar has been jailed for breaking into two neighbouring houses in Honiton as their owners slept upstairs.
Matthew Stamp scouted out the homes, in Allhallows Court, shortly after midnight before returning two hours later in the dead of night to search for cash and valuables.
A man and his two sons were asleep upstairs in the first and a 69-year-old woman in the second.
Stamp stole car keys, a wallet, a camera bag with £1,500 worth of kit inside and two other bags in the first raid, which led to the owner’s son missing an exam at school the next day.
His father was unable to drive him to the GCSE maths exam in Exeter because his car keys had been stolen and his son is worried he may be unable to go on to college as a result.
The entire family is now having trouble sleeping and get up at the slightest noise because they are worried about intruders.
The pensioner next door has also been left fearing for her safety.
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Stamp is a notorious thief and burglar who was recognised by detectives from CCTV inside the first house and Ring doorbell footage from a third house in the same courtyard, where he tried and failed to get in.
He has at least two previous convictions for domestic burglaries and was subject to a minimum sentence under the ‘three strikes and you’re out’ law.
He was also in breach of a suspended sentence imposed for heroin dealing last year.
Stamp, 37, of Rosemount Close, Honiton, admitted two burglaries and an attempted burglary and was jailed for three years and eight months by Recorder Mr Mathew Turner at Exeter Crown Court.
He told him that one of the victims was vulnerable and that both burglaries were aggravated by the occupiers having been present at the time.
Sally Daulton, prosecuting, said the first burglary came to light in the early house of June 7 when the occupier was woken by an alert on his phone which had been triggered by his CCTV system.
He went downstairs and found the front door open and his television outside, broken as a result of being dropped as the intruder fled.
CCTV later showed Stamp wandering around his home looking for things to steal.
He also drank from bottles of spirits and appeared to be moving clumsily because of the effects of drink or drugs.
The 69-year-old neighbour woke up in the morning to find she had been burgled and that her purse had been taken from her bag.
She later got a call from a pedestrian who had found it dumped, minus cash and cards, in Lace Walk.
Some of the items from the first raid were recovered when police searched the shed in his parents’ garden, where Stamp had been living.
Warren Robinson, defending, said Stamp has long standing problems with drink and drugs which he is hoping to address while in prison.