'Knock-a-door' burglar jailed for five years
15 January 2013
A 'CAREER burglar' who broke into more than 40 homes across Solihull and east Birmingham – knocking on doors before breaking into any he suspected were unoccupied – has been jailed for five years.
James Sprayson was arrested after droplets of blood were recovered by forensics experts – and later DNA-linked to the 42-year-old – outside a Dorridge property he’d smashed his way inside.
The convicted burglar – jailed for seven years in 1998 for a string of break-ins – then told detectives he wanted to “clean his slate” by taking them on a tour of the area to pinpoint his other break-ins.
In total he admitted 41 burglaries in two years, from 2010 to 2012, spanning from Hall Green to Hockley Heath.
And at Birmingham Crown Court on Friday (Jan 11) he was jailed for five years having pleaded guilty to two burglaries and asking for another 39 to be taken into consideration by the court.
Investigating officer, DC Arron Cox from Solihull Police CID, said: “If ever there was someone the phrase ‘career criminal’ was applicable it would be Sprayson – but he can also expect to spend long periods of that ‘career’ behind bars.
“His tactic was to knock the door of homes he believed may be empty. If someone answered he’d make up an excuse, like asking for directions, but if no-one answered he would try to break in. His entry methods were rudimentary and often involved throwing a brick, rock or whatever he could lay his hands on through rear patio doors.
“Sprayson targeted small electrical items, gadgets and jewellery – items he could quickly sell to fund a heroin addiction.
“The homes of people living in Solihull and east Birmingham are much safer with Sprayson locked up.”
Sprayson, from Cateswell Road in Hall Green, was initially arrested on November 16 last year when police found him near the scene of a burglary in Solihull’s Warwick Road.
He was bailed pending the result of forensic tests but arrested again five days later following the blood find in Dorridge – where a laptop and cash were stolen – and in interview admitted responsibility for many more burglaries across the region.
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- police.uk (external site)