TWO men have been jailed for a total of more than 10 years after committing a “despicable” series of distraction burglaries across the region targeting vulnerable residents.
Sailey Price, a 36-year-old traveller living in the Barnsley area, and Curtis Smith, 21, of Cudworth, Barnsley, tricked their way into homes across Yorkshire, pretending to the elderly occupants that they were there to carry out roof repairs.
They would ask to go into the loft, with one distracting the householder while the other stole cash or jewellery.
Sheffield Crown Court heard that over £15,000 of property, cash and jewellery was stolen during the eight-month campaign.
Acting Detective Inspector Steve Brookes, who led the South Yorkshire Police investigation, said: “I am personally satisfied with the sentences, which will provide an effective deterrent to this type of offending.
“These are despicable offences planned and targeted against some of the most vulnerable members of society.”
Price was jailed for five years and six months after pleading guilty to three distraction burglaries in Bolton-upon- Dearne, Wingfield and Goole.
Smith pleaded guilty to one charge of burglary on a property in Catcliffe, near Rotherham, and had three other offences taken into consideration. He was jailed for five years.
Chief Superintendent Jason Harwin said: “South Yorkshire police are committed to continuing to reduce these types of offences.
“The victims are some of our more vulnerable members of the community and we must do everything we can to stamp it out.
“This is a very nasty crime that is directed at vulnerable or elderly people.”