Two men who broke into homes and stole bank cards while the owners slept have been jailed.
Police said Aidan White, 22, of Linkfield Lane, in Redhill, and Michael Ryan, 22, of no fixed address, forced their way into homes in the Horsham, Redhill and Reigate areas.
The pair stole bank cards and used them to buy items from petrol stations, fast food restaurants and convenience stores as well as withdrawing large quantities of cash.
Officers said White and Ryan were found guilty of multiple counts of burglary and fraud at Guildford Crown Court on Thursday (June 7).
White was jailed for 19 months after being found guilty of three burglaries and three counts of fraud.
Michael Ryan was found guilty of four burglaries and three counts of fraud and will serve 18 months in prison.
Detective Constable Robert Garrett said: “Aidan White and Michael Ryan entered properties in the early hours of the morning while the occupants were sleeping. They had the audacity to not only enter people’s homes, but also used stolen bank cards to make purchases at petrol stations, fast food restaurants and convenience stores and also withdrew a large quantity of cash.”
The pair were identified by police in CCTV footage supplied by local businesses.
Police said White was arrested at his home on February 1. After searching his property items of clothing he was seen wearing in CCTV images were discovered along with items believed to have been stolen.
Ryan was arrested a week later and officers said they also discover two bikes as part of the investigation; one from a bike shed behind White’s home and the second - found by a member of the public - in a block of flats nearby.
DC Robert Garrett said: “Burglary can be an extremely traumatic and emotional experience for the victims so we’re pleased that White and Ryan have received custodial sentences.
“Burglary is taken extremely seriously in Surrey. To help protect your home, make sure all doors and windows are locked when not in use, even if you’re just out in the garden. Car and house keys should be kept securely and away from doors, letterboxes and windows were opportunist thieves could reach. Even the simplest of crime prevention measures can deter burglars.”