Serial burglar jailed for six-and-a-half years
19 July 2012
A BURGLAR who went on a crime spree across Walsall and South Staffordshire has been jailed for six-and-a-half years after admitting breaking in to 47 homes.
Sean Crabtree, 43, from Bridgewater Close, Walsall Wood was sentenced at Wolverhampton Crown Court yesterday (18 July).
He burgled properties across Walsall, Bloxwich, Pelsall, Norton Canes and Hednesford between October 2011 and March 2012.
The court heard that many of the victims were elderly residents and young families.
In Bloxwich he burgled one home and stole the children’s Christmas presents, in another he searched the house while his elderly victim lay bedbound.
Crabtree was caught as he eyed up the home of what could have been his 48th victim on Long Meadow Road on 11 March.
He pulled on to the driveway, got out of his car and checked the house before driving off – but he was arrested a short while later when an officer stopped him and found he was already wanted for a burglary on Lichfield Road, Bloxwich.
Crabtree was later charged with seven counts of burglary and he subsequently asked for 40 others to be taken into consideration.
The investigation was a joint effort between officers from CID in Walsall and Cannock.
Detective Constable Andy Bellingham, from Walsall CID, said: “It’s sickening to think about how many people have had their lives turned upside down by this man.
“Crabtree knew who he was targeting and what he was going for – in one of the burglaries in Aldridge he managed to get away with over £14,000 worth of jewellery and medals.
“He was given credit for his early guilty plea, which I would urge other criminals to think about – but this sentence nevertheless reflects the gravity of his crimes.
“My thoughts are now with his victims who, although still without their property, have finally got justice.”
Meanwhile, burglary across the Walsall area continues to fall, with a 10% reduction in offences since the start of this year compared to the same period in 2011 – equating to 39 fewer victims of crime.