Burglars given extended sentence after committing distraction offences

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Two men who conned their way into elderly people’s homes to steal across Yorkshire including a house in Halifax have been given an extended jail term.

Robert Lodge, now 27, and Andrew Rubery, now 26, from Lancashire, posed as posed as utility officials such as gas or water officials, to gain access to elderly people’s homes.

Andrew Rubery Once inside, they stole personal belongings such as purses, wallets and handbags containing cash.

Some victims lost invaluable possessions, such as photographs of deceased family members.

The offences came to light during extra investigations after the duo had already been sent to prison in 2015, for seven years, for a number of distraction burglaries in Lancashire.

At Leeds Crown Court on February 21 this year they pleaded guilty to a burglary in Barnsley, a burglary in Halifax and three burglaries in Knaresborough.

Rubery pleaded guilty to a burglary in Halifax and a burglary in Leeds.

They were both given consecutive two-year sentences, increasing their original sentences to nine years in total.

Det Con Sam Harding, of North Yorkshire Police, said: “Doorstep criminals such as distraction burglars and rogue traders take advantage of people’s trust in the most callous way, deliberately targeting elderly and vulnerable people to steal from them.

“The impact that these crimes can have on their victims is simply devastating.

“The investigation we undertook into the activities of Lodge and Rubery is testament to the seriousness with which we take such offending. The custodial sentences will send a strong message that these crimes will not be tolerated in our area.”