Man jailed over Devon car thefts

A man has been jailed for five years and eight months after pleading guilty to a series of burglaries and vehicle thefts across Devon and Somerset.

On Thursday 30 May at Exeter Crown Court, Tyler Brown, 20 of no fixed abode, admitted 20 counts of burglary, two attempted burglaries and 15 further offences relating to the theft of vehicles from those burglaries.

He was sentenced to five years and eight months at Exeter Crown Court on Friday 7 June.

Brown broke into 26 separate homes at night, often whilst the victims were asleep, to steal car keys and other personal belongings. He would then take the owner’s vehicles causing significant damage before abandoning them.

The thefts involved differing makes and models of vehicles, but mainly those perceived to be of a higher value. The number plates have then been altered or changed to cloned number plates.

Detective Sergeant Smith of Exeter CID welcomed the sentences.

He said: “Burglary is an invasive crime that leaves victims feeling vulnerable in their own home. The impact Brown has had by committing these prolific and serious offences should not be underestimated. He has shown no remorse for his actions throughout this case.

“Detectives from Exeter, Plymouth and Barnstaple worked tirelessly and around the clock conducting a significant number of enquiries to bring the offender to justice. I hope this outcome sends a clear message that it will not be tolerated in our community. We will continue to focus our efforts on disrupting this type of criminal activity and bring those responsible to justice.

“It is hoped that this conviction will prevent him from committing further offences and provide at least some consolation to the victims of his crimes.

“I would encourage people to take a look at our crime prevention tips below and necessary steps to avoid falling victim to this acquisitive crime.”

Crime Prevention -

“In terms of protecting yourself against this type of offence, there are a number of simple preventative measures which you may wish to consider:

  • Report any suspicious activity, as this will assist in preventing further offending. Offenders will often scout out target addresses during the hours of darkness, so please report any suspicious individuals or vehicles you see to the police.
  • Ensure that your premises are secure overnight. Often the offenders are accessing properties via unlocked doors. You may wish to invest in a sturdier front door lock and/or chain. This could prove sufficient in preventing you from becoming a victim of crime. 
  • Consider the purchase of a motion sensor light, and/or a doorbell camera. These visible deterrents are often capable of persuading offenders not to approach your premises, and to move on elsewhere.
  • Do not keep your vehicle keys in obvious or visible places within your home. The most common factor that links these offences is that the keys used to steal the vehicles were on open display, and were quickly located by an intruder.
  • Wherever possible, utilise any off-road parking or garage that you have access to, or consider investing in a cover for your car. If an offender cannot see your vehicle, they will not target you.
  • Consider registering your vehicle with a stolen car tracker app, of which there are several available to choose from online. This could result in your car being quickly recovered in the event it is stolen, and also something you may not be able to do if it has already been taken by an offender.
  • Some vehicles already have a tracking device installed at the point of retail. Check if this the case, so that you can download any relevant software to your mobile device and are familiar with how to operate it. 

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