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Burglar who targeted homes in Grantham, the Bythams, Bridge End near Horbling and Worksop jailed

A burglar who broke into people’s homes in the middle of the day and sold their belongings for cash has been jailed.

Martin Fox, 49, of no fixed address, has been sentenced to seven years and eight months in prison after targeting a number of properties in Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire.

Fox’s crime spree was brought to an end on September 25, after a report was made of a burglary at a house in Barrowby Road, Grantham where a rear lounge window had been smashed and jewellery stolen.

Martin Fox
Martin Fox

The resident provided police with CCTV, which showed a man walking around the outside of the property.

Detectives investigating the case – believing this may be linked to an emerging series – quickly viewed the footage, and Fox was recognised by the investigating team.

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By this stage, Fox was already circulated as wanted for arrest.

An officer on patrol then saw Fox entering a house in Dysart Road, Grantham in the early afternoon wearing the same clothes as the person in the CCTV footage.

He was found in possession of the jewellery stolen from the house in Barrowby Road.

He was arrested and recalled to prison for breaching his licence relating to another matter.

Before this happened, officers had already been building a picture of the man responsible for other burglaries on September 16, September 19 and September 21.

Officers linked Fox to those incidents through forensic examinations and digital investigations which included phone work, and intelligence from the road network to trace his movements.

Patrol officers, neighbourhood teams and detectives carried out searches at multiple properties as well as house-to-house enquiries.

Hours of CCTV footage was reviewed and inquiries made with local jewellers and pawn brokers.

The first case officers started to investigate was a burglary at a home in Village Street in Bridge End near Horbling on September 16, where jewellery had been stolen.

Intelligence led to a jewellery shop which had bought goods from a man matching Fox’s description.

Just a few days later on September 19, the home of a man in his 80s in High Street, Little Bytham, was targeted.

He had popped out for two hours and returned to find a rear window smashed, and his TV, two rings, a pocket watch, and an electronic tablet – among other items – stolen.

Detectives tracked down CCTV footage which showed a man – later found to be Fox – outside the property.

Working off previous intelligence, officers attended a pawn-brokers and found that two rings had been sold by Fox, who had provided his name and ID to make the sale.

The rings were seized by officers and confirmed to have been taken from the High Street house.

Then, on September 21 there was a report of a burglary at a home in High Street, Castle Bytham, where a window was smashed, and an iPad, jewellery and a navy crocodile-effect Radley handbag were stolen, the latter of which was later recovered at a shop in Grantham. Fox was seen on CCTV selling it.

Following his arrest on September 25, investigators linked him to three incidents reported in the Worksop area which took place on September 6 and were being investigated by Nottinghamshire Police.

One was an attempted burglary at a property in Chesterfield Road, Darfoulds, Worksop, another was a burglary with intent to steal at another property in Darfoulds, and the third was a burglary at a property off Potter Street in Darfoulds.

In the Potter Street incident, Fox stole jewellery and watches, a bank card, and bike. The total value of the goods was valued at around £8.000.

He had been captured on CCTV during those incidents, and when he was arrested on September 25 he was wearing the same clothes.

Fox pleaded guilty to charges of burglary with intent to steal, attempted burglary, and burglary for the offences in the Worksop area on September 6; guilty to charges of burglary in relation to the Bridge End, Little Bytham, and Barrowby Road incidents; and he was initially charged with burglary for the offence on September 21 at Castle Bytham, which he pleaded not guilty to, but accepted a different charge of handling stolen goods.

In total he was sentenced to seven years and eight months in prison following a hearing at Lincoln Crown Court on Monday (March 18).

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