A man who carried out a ‘campaign of theft and burglary’ across Bognor Regis has been jailed.
Scott Keet, 34, of Longfield Road, Bognor, stole wallets from people’s homes and cars and fraudulently used bank cards to deposit £8,000 on online gambling websites.
Appearing at Chichester Crown Court on Monday, Keet was sentenced to a three-year prison sentence for 16 offences for theft, burglary and fraud, which he had admitted at a previous hearing.
From August to November last year, Keet entered unsecured properties in Mead Lane, Wellington Road and Limmer Courts Lane.
He also broke into four cars to steal wallets, and in one of the cases of fraud he used a man’s bank card to spend £5,076 on a gambling website.
Keet also burgled two properties in Bognor in February this year while on out on bail.
Prosecuting, Martha Walsh said: “The pattern of offending for this defendant in relation to the burglaries saw him enter addresses that were unsecured and he took this opportunity to steal wallets.”
She added: “He used people’s bank cards to make deposits on gambling sites. The total he stole amounted to £8,070.”
The court heard that Keet had a total of 24 previous convictions for 49 offences, including theft, burglary and drug possession and supply.
Defending, Andrew Turton said Keet had managed to overcome a long-standing addiction to drugs.
But he said after qualifying as a joiner at Chichester College, a failure to find any work had seen him ‘give up’ and return to drug-taking.
He said: “This inquisitive offending had one aim, to find money for drugs. It’s a tragedy that having put this behind him he’s gone back to square one in the snakes and ladders game of offending.
On passing sentence, judge Christopher Parker QC gave Keet credit for pleading guilty to all the offences.
But he said: Scott Keet, between August and November last year, and February this year, you carried out a campaign of theft and burglary of people’s homes and all the while as they were sleeping in their beds.”
“You stole people’s wallets and debit cards and then went on to use them to gamble online or to obtain cash from machines, running up £8,070 worth of debt.
“People have the basic right to sleep safely without fear that someone like you will enter their homes.”
He added that because Keet was a ‘third striker’ having twice before been convicted of dwelling house burglary, he was forced to pass at least a three-year prison sentence, but he handed him the minimum term ‘in the hope that you might still be able to do something positive in life with your new qualification’.
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