A 30-year-old man has been jailed after burgling his next door neighbour’s house and then trying to sell the victim’s possessions on eBay.
James Longden, of Oaklea Court, Rhyl, north Wales, admitted committing the burglary while he was living at Water Tower View in Chester.
He pleaded guilty to the offence at Chester Magistrates’ Court on Friday 21 December 2018 and was subsequently sentenced to two years and four months in prison.
Longden, who was sentenced at Chester Crown Court on Friday 18 January, broke into his neighbour’s home in Chester while he was at work on Thursday 8 November 2018.
A laptop, jewellery and clothing were among the items stolen from the house.
After reporting the burglary to the police, the victim discovered while using the internet on Friday 23 November 2018 that a watch and a leather jacket identical to the ones that had been stolen from his house had been put up for sale on eBay.
He made what turned out to be the winning bid for the watch and arranged to meet the seller at Chester Railway Station on Tuesday 4 December 2018.
The victim informed the police of these developments and officers discovered that the eBay account used to sell the watch and the jacket belonged to Longden.
After making the discovery officers arranged to take the victim’s place in meeting the seller.
Longden turned up at the railway station with the victim’s watch and was arrested and taken into custody.
A search warrant was then executed at Longden’s then home in Chester in which the vast majority of the items he stole from next door were recovered.
He was charged with burglary and pleaded guilty to the offence at his first opportunity to do so.
Following his sentencing, Detective Constable Nicky Edgell said: “Burglary is a serious offence in which victims are targeted in their own home, the place they should be able to feel most safe.
“Being the victim of a burglary is always a traumatic experience.
“In this case it turned out that the victim had been burgled by his next door neighbour, making the incident even more upsetting.
“Thankfully the victim spotted some of the items that had been stolen from his house being sold on eBay. At that point the net started to close in on Longden.
“Burgling your next door neighbour’s house and agreeing via eBay to sell one of the items stolen back to him is despicable behaviour, even if Longden was unaware of the identity of the buyer.
“I am pleased that he has been jailed for 28 months as punishment for his offending and hope that the sentence he has been handed deters others from committing similar offences.”
In addition to his custodial sentence, Longden was ordered to pay a £170 victim surcharge.