A TEENAGE burglar has appeared in the courts twice in the space of a week.
Robert Mayers, 18, found himself before magistrates earlier this month on two occasions.
The Worthing teenager pleaded guilty to a charge of attempted burglary after he tried to break into a home in West Avenue, also in Worthing, on July 26 but was arrested later.
Mayers was handed a 16-week suspended jail sentence and ordered to pay £85 costs and an £80 victim surcharge when he appeared at Crawley Magistrates' Court on August 14.
A week earlier Mayers, of Whitebeam Road, had appeared at Worthing Magistrates' Court where he had pleaded guilty to two burglaries and an attempted burglary in the town.
During that hearing he was given a six month suspended prison sentence, was made the subject of a 12-month supervision order and was ordered to do 200 hours of community service. He was also ordered to pay £1,000 compensation to his victims, an £80 victim surcharge and £85 costs.
The suspended sentences follow each other so that if Mayers is convicted of an offence within the next 10 months he will be sentenced again for the burglaries and attempted burglaries.
Detective Inspector Dave Wardley-Wilkins said: "Mayers has been a prolific offender around Worthing who has caused a great deal of pain and suffering to his victims.
"If you are the victim of burglary you never forget the feeling that your home has been violated by an intruder.
"The sentencing of Mayers means that although he has not been sent to prison, if he commits another offence he could be. He now has a choice - to change his ways, behave and become a member of the community or continue offending and risk being jailed."
Sussex Police launched Operation Magpie to tackle burglary across the county.
If you see or hear a burglary taking place call 999 immediately.
Residents can also being encouraged to register their items on the world's largest property database so that if they are stolen, they can be reunited with the owners - and so the offenders can be prosecuted.
You can register your property in just a few minutes by visiting www.immobilise.com