A BURGLAR has been jailed for four years after police forensic experts linked him to two burglaries at neighbouring addresses in South Croydon on the same night in January.
Matthew Wilkins, 44, of Thornton Road, Croydon was sentenced at the Central Criminal Court at the Old Bailey on October 2 to four years imprisonment for two counts of burglary.
A man from The Ridge Way, South Croydon called police in the middle of the night on Janurary 31 this year because he thought there was an intruder downstairs in his house.
When police searched the house shortly after they found fresh footprints in the kitchen and the victim realised some cash and a wallet had been taken.
Despite searching the area police and police dogs could not trace the suspect.
Then later that day a man from a neighbouring house called the police to report a similar break in.
He had noticed muddy footmarks on the living room floor just before he went to bed after midnight, but did not think anything of it.
It was only after he woke up in the morning and found cash from two wallets had been taken that he realised the house had been burgled.
Forensic examiners went to the houses later that morning and found fresh glove marks near the kitchen window of one of the houses.
DNA swabs were taken and analysis showed the DNA belonged to Wilkins.
He was arrested on 20 February and was charged with both burglaries the same day. He was found guilty of both offences at the Old Bailey on Thursday 2, October 2014 and was sentenced on the same day.
Trainee Detective Constable Tony Dayes, from Croydon CID who investigated the case said:
"Wilkins has a long history of burgling in the Croydon area, so this sentence is good news for the residents of Croydon. Thanks to the excellent work of the forensic examiners and Crown Prosecution Service, we were able to capture the DNA evidence that placed Wilkins at the scene and because of this he will be off the streets for a considerable amount of time."