Burglar’s belt leads to downfall after major jewellery haul

A MAN has been jailed for five years after committing two burglaries in which he stole thousands of pounds worth of jewellery.

William Beattie, of Maitland Place, London, broke into a property in Top Street, Stretham, between July 30 and August 1 last year, helping himself to items worth more than �10,000.

The 57-year-old smashed a front window and let himself in through the front door before seizing rings, necklaces, bracelets, earrings, watches, brooches, and gold chains, along with silver tableware from the dining room.

Beattie fled with the loot but subsequent searches discovered a part of his belt close to the broken window from which a full DNA profile was recovered.

He was arrested by officers from Hertfordshire Constabulary on the M1 on August 17 2010 before being handed over to Cambridgeshire officers.

Beattie pleaded not guilty to the burglary and to another burglary in Haywards Heath, West Sussex, where a handkerchief was found bearing his DNA.

He was found guilty on both counts yesterday at Cambridge crown court and handed a jail term.

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DC Ashley Ryan, who investigated the Cambridgeshire crime, said: “Beattie is a prolific burglar and a habitual thief who has never shown any remorse. The burglary in Stretham left the victims very upset because some of the items were of great sentimental value.

“The sentence reflects the seriousness of the crime and the impact it had on the victims.”

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