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Burglar who targeted four elderly people in just one day jailed for seven years
A serial burglar who targeted four vulnerable victims with a combined age of 350 in just one day has been jailed for seven years.
Patrick Doyle tricked his way into the homes of four pensioners on November 22, 2013, a court was told.
He first raided the home of a couple, both 88, in Woodfield Road, Crawley, at around 11.20am.
Doyle and an accomplice claimed they were from the local council and were there to put new fences up.
After the men left, the husband and wife became suspicious, noticed money was missing and called police.
Doyle and his wingman then went on to steal hundreds of pounds from a 90-year-old woman in Manor Gardens, Brighton, by claiming they were ‘Water Board Officials’ – despite the Water Board no longer existing.
He then headed east to Green Street, Eastbourne, where he stole from an 84-year-old woman by convincing her they had been called about a broken fence.
Doyle, 45, of Western Road, London, was caught after officers were able to link both a footprint at one of the homes and a vehicle seen near each of the victims' addresses to him.
At Lewes Crown Court last week he admitted three counts of burglary and because of his previous convictions for similar offences was jailed for seven years.
The court also ordered him to pay a £120 victim surcharge.
Detective Constable Richard Valder-Davis said: "It is possible that there were more victims who have never come forward and I would encourage anyone who was visited by Doyle to contact us.
"We are still looking for the man who accompanied Doyle at each of the crimes.
"I would also urge people to check who they are opening their front door to and especially who they let into their homes."
John Wright, the chairman of Sussex Neighbourhood Watch Federation, added: "Across the county people living in more than 120,000 homes that are members of Neighbourhood Watch are acting as the eyes and ears of Sussex Police.
"We know who is usually in our own streets and can quickly and easily spot strangers and people acting suspiciously. I would urge anybody who sees anything out of the ordinary to tell the police immediately.
"It's far better to be safe than sorry. The police are never too busy to listen."