A serial burglar who has 49 convictions for thefts over 30 years has been jailed.

Ashley Symes, of Heath Close, Broadbridge Heath, has been sentenced to nine months in prison after breaking into a home while he was on early release from prison.

The 48-year-old broke into a house in Tower Road, Faygate, on January 25 and stole jewellery while he was still on licence after being released part way through a previous sentence for burglary.

Detective Inspector Dave Wardley-Wilkins said: "Symes has been committing crime for more than 30 years and now has 49 convictions for theft and burglary.

"He is just one of the great results the Magpie team have had over the last few weeks.

"A number of people have been charged with burglary just days after homes were broken into which shows the effort and resources that we are putting into catching and convicting those who try to make residents' lives a misery."

Sussex Police launched Operation Magpie to tackle burglary across the county.

Amongst other successes for Operation Magpie in the last fortnight have been the charging of eight people for burglaries in Worthing, Crawley, Bognor, Littlehampton and Firle.

If you have any information about burglaries, call 101 or email 101@sussex.pnn.police.uk. For crime prevention advice visit www.sussex.police.uk.

If you see or hear a burglary taking place call 999 immediately.