ONE of Burnley’s most prolific burglars has been jailed for five years.
Daniel Devlin (37) of Harling Street, Burnley, was dubbed the “King of Spades” when Burnley police released playing cards of the town’s worst offenders five years ago.
The crack cocaine addict appeared before Burnley Crown Court after admitting six burglaries, committed while people were asleep in their homes.
Devlin targeted homes in Rossendale Road, Rosemount Avenue, Simpson Street, Oslo Road and Castlerigg Drive overnight between January 13th and 26th.
Devlin, an accomplice or accomplices jemmied a playroom window at one property, stole electrical and computer equipment, sentimental jewellery and drove away four cars, after stealing the keys from inside the properties, the town’s crown court heard.
Devlin, who has now committed 300 offences, has already served several prison terms and had a record for burglary. He was arrested after leaving a Nike trainer print at one of the houses.
Sentencing Devlin, Judge Graham Knowles, QC, told him he had “trampled on family life.”
Mr David Macro (prosecuting) said a wedding, engagement ring and £3,000 Toyota Celica were among property stolen from one house. Mr Macro said Devlin would not tell police where he had taken the stolen property. He had 175 previous convictions and on one occasion was sentenced, he had asked for 97 offences to be considered. He had been in custody since January 29th.
Mr Martin Hackett (defending) said he had made admissions to the police. No confrontations with householders took place and there did not appear to have been any unnecessary ransacking.
The barrister said the defendant, who previously took heroin, needed to fund his cocaine addiction.
Devlin was arrested after police recovered forensic evidence linking him to the scene at Castlerigg Drive.
Det. Insp Martin Melvin said: “Devlin is a cowardly individual who targeted people’s homes as they slept. He is a prolific burglar and I am pleased we have managed to bring his crime wave to an end.
“We understand the devastating impact this intrusive crime can have on victims and although burglary is at its lowest in years, we will never lose focus. We are determined to take action to continue to target those people who invade your homes and steal your possessions.”
Anyone with information about burglary can contact police on 0845 1 25 34 45 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.