In the summer of 2012, Lincolnshire Police were actively investigating a series of house burglaries in Lincoln and West Lindsey, where the unknown offender was predominantly targeting houses by sneaking in via unlocked windows or doors.
This is an adapted excerpt from the latest Lincolnshire Police performance report.
As a result of enquiries by officers and PCSOs, some CCTV footage was obtained of a man using the cycle path from Lincoln to Saxilby who matched the description of the offender. This was circulated to all staff, but no identification was made of the suspect.
On July 3 2012, whilst engaged on enquiries in relation to another matter, officers spotted a man who they believed was the burglary suspect they had seen on the CCTV footage. All available officers from all departments attended the area of Saxilby. The suspect was seen but made off from Police and was lost for some time.
Nottinghamshire Police contacted Lincolnshire Police to report a burglary in Harby, approximately four miles from Saxilby. The circumstances being that at 12.20pm that same day, an elderly victim found a man inside his home and when he challenged the man, he said he had come to do the gardening.
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The victim had not contacted anyone to do his garden, however, he gave the man a drink of water and went to check if anyone else was in the house. As he did this, the victim heard the engine of his Land Rover start up, and he then saw it being driven off his driveway, smashing through his garden gates and heading toward Saxilby. The victim found that items in his bedroom had been disturbed and searched.
At around 1.30pm, officers on Carholme Road in Lincoln saw a man fitting the description of the man seen earlier in Saxilby, and officers from Operation Fusion (a dedicated burglary team) attended. They stopped the suspect who identified himself as Kevin Talbot, born in 1966, and stated he had gold in his pocket which he had just stolen in a burglary in Lincoln.
Talbot was searched and gold jewellery was recovered from his jeans pocket. He was arrested on suspicion of burglary and conveyed to Lincoln Police Station. He was interviewed by Operation Fusion officers and during the interview he admitted committing the burglary at Harby and also one on Long Leys Road, Lincoln which had not been reported to Lincolnshire Police.
Talbot stated he cycled to Saxilby earlier in the day, however on seeing the police in the village, he made off from them and cycled to Harby. He stated that he saw lots of police activity so decided to hide in a house in Harby. He stated the occupant was in the garden and the door to the house was open.
He went in and went to the bedroom. He stated he was in the house for twenty to thirty minutes before he was confronted by the occupier where upon he stated he was the gardener. He then left the house, picking up a set of car keys from a table next to the door. On leaving the house he locked the door leaving the occupier inside. He then stole the Land Rover from the driveway, driving it through the wooden garden gates as he left.
On the way back to Lincoln he could still see police activity in the area so he decided to abandon the vehicle. He parked it up on a street, got out and saw a house nearby with its first floor windows wide open. He decided to burgle the house so he climbed up to the first floor window, through the window into the bedroom and stole some jewellery.
Talbot then climbed back out the window and headed across the West Common in Lincoln. At this point he threw the car keys he had into the undergrowth. A short time later he was stopped by police. He stated he was committing burglaries to feed his drug habit.
A detective attended the address with the jewellery recovered from Talbot. The occupants were completely unaware that they were the victims of burglary, however they identified the jewellery as theirs, and it included items of sentimental value that could not have been replaced.
Talbot assisted the police in the recovery of other property that he had discarded which meant that the officers could reunite the victims with their personal effects, some of which was of sentimental value and could not have been replaced. The victims were very thankful that it had been recovered and returned, and it gave them some comfort that the person who had entered their homes was in custody.
Talbot also admitted burgling a home for children with learning difficulties and asked that the cycle he had used to commit some of his offences was given to the home by way of some sort of apology.
Talbot was also wanted in three other force areas and Lincolnshire officers worked with colleagues from other forces to identify and detect 49 offences, including 24 in Lincolnshire. He received a six-year prison sentence pleading guilty to all offences.