Page last updated at 20:43 GMT, Friday, 26 September 2008 21:43 UK

Prison for 'crime show' burglar

Glyn Brookes
Police said Brookes was addicted to the thrill of burglary

A prolific burglar who admitted committing nearly 400 robberies in Nottinghamshire has been given a 12-year jail sentence.

Glyn Brookes, 34, from Bestwood targeted the homes of people away on holiday, Nottingham Crown Court heard.

He studied crime shows on television to learn police forensic techniques.

The court heard Brookes broke into homes with security lights and burglar alarms because he saw them as "puzzles to be solved".

'Thrill of burglary'

Brookes, who was described as a "one-man crime wave", usually removed tiles from the roof of his victim's property before cutting a hole in its bedroom ceiling and lowering himself in.

He had earlier pleaded guilty to 10 charges of burglary but confessed to police that he had committed 388 others.

Police said they first spotted a pattern to a series of burglaries at well-secured houses more than four years ago.

Det Insp Martin Putnar said Brookes was "addicted to the thrill of burglary" while he saw security devices as "puzzles to be solved".

You have burgled almost on an unprecedented scale
Judge Michael Stokes QC

Nottinghamshire Police only caught Brookes after he dropped a torch during a raid, allowing officers to arrest him in February having gleaned his DNA.

Sentencing Brookes, Judge Michael Stokes QC said: "You undoubtedly are a persistent and professional burglar of other people's homes and I say homes, not just houses.

"When you burgle on this scale it causes immense distress to householders and you have burgled almost on an unprecedented scale.

"This is professional crime and the householders of Nottinghamshire and Nottingham deserve to be relieved of your presence for a very long time.

"You are as great a risk to the public as anyone I have seen."

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