Prolific burglar sectioned after ransacking Cambridgeshire homes

James Maughan, 24, targeted houses with patio doors so he could force his way inside

James Maughan, 24, targeted houses with patio doors so he could force his way inside - Credit: Archant

A prolific burglar who smashed his way into three separate homes before leading police on a car chase has been sectioned indefinitely.

James Maughan, 24, targeted houses with patio doors so he could force his way inside and steal valuable goods.

Maughan pleaded guilty to two counts of burglary and was sentenced on Wednesday March 28 at Cambridge Crown Court.

On March 14, he broke into a house in Arlesey, Bedfordshire, by smashing a patio window. He stole a money box and keys to a white Audi TT, which he then drove on stolen number plates.

On 4 April Maughan smashed yet another patio window to break into a semi-detached bungalow in Melbourn, Cambridgeshire.

He ransacked the premises, smashing several jars of pasta sauce before stealing an iPad Mini and other personal items.

Later that day Maughan targeted a second home in Melbourn, just a quarter of a mile away from the first. He forced a patio door open before stealing jewellery, silverware and a collection of coins.

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Several hours later a Metropolitan police officer noticed the white Audi tailgating an ambulance through heavy traffic on the A406 in London.

He began to follow but the Audi mounted a kerb, narrowly missing several pedestrians, so he called off the pursuit.

The car was found abandoned a short while later in Palmers Green, London. Officers recovered items stolen from the two burglaries in Melbourn and forensic checks revealed Maughan‘s fingerprints on the roof above the driver’s door.

The following day, Maughan was stopped and arrested. He was found in possession of the stolen iPad Mini and several items of jewellery.

Detective Sergeant Andrew Gaunt-Warner said: “The way in which he acted caused severe distress amongst his numerous victims and showed a disregard for other people’s property and physical welfare.

“We hope that this sentence will provide Maughan with the care he requires whilst reassuring the public that he will not be free to commit more criminal acts.”

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