Burglar who continued to offend while awaiting trial is jailed

A man has been sentenced to seven years imprisonment following a string of burglaries and vehicle thefts across Surrey.

Tristram Spencer, 35 of Watney Close, Purley appeared at Guildford Crown Court on Friday (10 June) after pleading guilty to multiple offences.

An investigation initially launched on Friday, 15 January 2021, after officers were called to a residential address in Diceland Road in Banstead following reports of a Burglary. The victims returned home and initially realised their Jaguar XFR had been stolen from the driveway. When they entered their home, they found that the rear patio doors had been smashed and multiple items including a TV, car keys, an Xbox, a Playstation and a drone as well as luxury watches had been stolen. Whilst on the phone to police, another vehicle belonging to the victims to which they had returned home in, was stolen. An initial search for both stolen vehicles was conducted, but neither could be found.

Officers, including Scenes of Crime Officers attended the location to carry out enquiries including taking swabs of blood left on a door handle within the address. Further CCTV enquiries in the following weeks outlined the moments that lead up to the burglary and showed Spencer driving to and from the scene, blazingly returning after the initial Burglary to steal the victims’ second vehicle.

Spencer was arrested on the 1 February 2021 on suspicion of Burglary, theft of motor vehicle and driving offences. He was initially bailed and later charged for these offences in August 2021 and was awaiting trial.

Whilst awaiting trial, on Wednesday, 16 February 2022 Spencer came to officer’s attention again following a Burglary in Fetcham. The victim had returned to his home in School Lane to find the rear patio doors of his property had been smashed and multiple items, including car keys, jewellery, sunglasses and a designer bag had been taken. In similar circumstances to the offences in Banstead, whilst on the phone to the police, the victim witnessed his BMW being driven away from his driveway having returned home to the devastation left after the burglary.

Fortunately, the victim had attached a tracker tag to the set of car keys stolen, which was able to provide a live location for police. Officers were able to see that the keys had come to a stop at an address in Beckenham. When officers attended the address, Spencer was seen inside the property and matched the description of the suspect given by witnesses. After being arrested, Spencer made a number of significant comments to officers, including “Do you want to retrieve their car?”.

When searching this address, officers found and seized multiple stolen items including jewellery, the BMW key and even post addressed to the victim of the Fetcham burglary. The victim’s vehicle was located the following day, parked up nearby to his address.

Spencer was swiftly charged with a further Burglary and Theft of Motor Vehicle offence and remanded into custody. During court proceedings, Spencer admitted being involved in two additional burglaries in Cobham and Slough which were taken into consideration in his sentencing.

On Friday (10 June) at Guildford Crown Court, Judge Rufus Taylor sentenced Spencer to seven years imprisonment for all offences.

Investigating Officer PC Joseph Brown said “Spencer is the definition of a career criminal, who had no remorse for his victims. Having just caused devastation within the victim’s homes, he would brazenly return whilst the victims were reporting these crimes to steal what can only be described as their last financial asset from under their noses.

“He would make the journey to Surrey and Berkshire, specifically targeting properties, breaking into people’s homes, and taking anything of value he could get his hands on. Having been given an opportunity by the courts initially to consider the crimes he had committed in Banstead, he showed total disregard to the judicial system and the victim’s by continuing to offend.

“This has been a thorough investigation which has resulted in a substantial sentence, meaning a prolific burglar is off the streets.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank colleagues and especially members of the public who came forward to provide us with vital information and CCTV which proved crucial in this case, which gave Spencer no option but to plead guilty to his crimes.”

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