A prolific burglar is behind bars for six years after being found guilty of a string of burglaries and thefts of high value vehicles across the county.
Tony Lee Grant, 29, of no fixed address, was sentenced on Thursday, 3 January at Guildford Crown Court. He was also given a four and a half year driving suspension, which will start upon his release.
Following his arrest in November, Grant was charged with 21 offences, including:
- Six counts of theft of motor vehicle
- Four counts of burglary (dwelling)
- Dangerous driving and aggravated vehicle taking
- Driving with no insurance and driving otherwise in accordance with a licence
- Two counts of attempt theft of a motor vehicle
- Two counts of making off without payment
- One count of burglary (non-dwelling)
- One count of possession of a controlled drug (Class B)
- One count of failing to provide a specimen
During the investigation, Grant also took the opportunity to admit to 24 other offences, including:
- Eleven counts of burglary (dwelling)
- One count of attempted burglary (dwelling)
- Seven counts of theft of a motor vehicle
- Four counts of theft from a motor vehicle
- One count of handling stolen goods
Intelligence gathered from CCTV, automatic number plate recognition and telephone data linked Grant to the areas in which the burglaries took place, and he was forensically linked to one stolen vehicle which he had also used to commit offences in after his DNA and a large amount of stolen property was found inside.
Grant was arrested following a 3am pursuit in which a stolen Mercedes travelled in excess of 100 miles per hour along the A22 towards Caterham, before it crashed into a roundabout. A man was seen fleeing from the vehicle but was later located by officers a short time later. Originally giving false details, Grant was arrested and taken into custody.
Investigating officer, PC Joe Brown, said: “This investigation was very complex with a number of different enquiries eventually leading officers to link Grant to these offences. I would personally like to thank all my colleagues and members of the public who have assisted in leading us to locate, arrest and charge him with these crimes.
“Grant brazenly broke into a number of houses across the county and stole a significant amount of property, including high value vehicles, motorbikes, pedal cycles, tools and jewellery.
“In many of these offences, Grant stole car keys and drove the vehicles away. I’d like to take this opportunity to remind residents to store keys out of sight and away from letterboxes, and not to leave them in easy to find places such as handbags or hooks.
“The sheer number of offences in which Grant committed has had a lasting effect on not only the victims and their families, but also the local communities to which he offended in. I hope that the sentence given to Grant will send out a strong message that we will not tolerate burglaries being committed in our county and that we will do everything possible to identify and relentlessly pursue those responsible for these crimes.”
Operation Spearhead has been running with overt and covert officers and staff deployed solely to prevent burglaries and catch offenders, but residents can help us by registering their valuables on Immobilise and investing in unique marking liquid such as SelectaDNA.
SelectaDNA is available at a 50% discount to Surrey residents, using code DNASURREY50 to order a kit for just £29.75. Visit www.selectadna.co.uk to order and to find out more.
For advice on protecting your business premises, including CCTV, alarms and security lighting, visit our website.