A prolific burglar from Runcorn has been handed another prison sentence after going on a crime spree within months of being released from jail.
Callum Quirk pleaded guilty to burglary, theft of a car, handling stolen goods (a different car), attempting to buy goods with a stolen bank card and twice making off from petrol stations without paying for fuel.
The 21-year-old pleaded not guilty to a further burglary charge and attempting to steal a third car but was convicted of the offences following a two-day trial at Chester Crown Court.
He was sentenced for the offences at the court on Tuesday 13 August.
Quirk was handed a custodial sentence of two years and 255 days. He was also ordered to pay a £170 victim surcharge.
The charges relate to offences committed between Saturday 7 July and Monday 16 July 2018. Quirk had been released from prison on Wednesday 25 April having served a sentence for theft and common assault.
In the early hours of Saturday 7 July 2018 Quirk broke into a house in Suffolk Street, Runcorn, whilst the occupier was asleep and stole the keys to her car parked outside.
The occupier woke up to the sound of her dog continuously barking and then heard her car’s engine revving.
She went outside and found Quirk sitting in the driver’s seat.
The victim screamed at him to get out, and after exiting the vehicle and claiming that someone had given him permission to use the car Quirk ran off.
Another house in Runcorn, in Lockfield, was also broken into in the early hours of Saturday 7 July 2018. On that occasion the occupier’s car was stolen.
Quirk was driving the vehicle when it fled petrol stations on Hallwood Link Road, Runcorn, and Applegreen, Frodsham, that night without paying for fuel.
The vehicle was found later that night crashed on the slip road from Lymm Services to the M6 southbound.
Quirk’s fingerprints were found on the driver’s door and CCTV footage at the petrol stations showed that he had been driving the car.
CCTV footage at Runcorn’s Asda store from Saturday 7 July 2018 also proved that Quirk had tried to buy items with a bank card that was stolen during the burglary in Lockfield.
Overnight on the following Saturday, 14 July 2018, Quirk broke into a house in Cornwall Avenue, Runcorn, and then stole a car parked outside.
His DNA and fingerprints were found on a can of lager that was left outside the address.
Quirk’s DNA was also on a screwdriver that had been inside an attached garage.
The car was found abandoned in the Grangeway area of Runcorn in the early hours of Monday 16 July 2018.
Quirk, from the Brookvale area of Runcorn, admitted stealing the car and breaking into the house in Cornwall Avenue.
He denied breaking into the house in Suffolk Street and attempting to steal the owner’s car but was convicted of the offences having been picked out by her during an identification process.
Following Quirk’s sentencing, Detective Constable Ciara Murphy, who led the investigation into the crime spree, said: “Burglary is a serious offence which targets victims in their own home, which is the place that they should be able to feel most safe.
“Callum Quirk is a prolific burglar who has now been convicted on five separate occasions for burglary offences despite being just 21 years old.
“He has shown no remorse for his crimes and the impact they have had on his victims and I am delighted that he has been convicted of his latest offences and will be behind bars for the foreseeable future, where he cannot pose a threat to the public.
“Quirk is still very young and I hope that whilst servicing his latest custodial sentence he reflects on the selfish, criminal life he has been leading and changes his ways.
“I also hope that the sentence handed down by the courts provides some closure to the victims and enables them to move forward with their lives, and that it deters others from committing similar crimes.”