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Thief jailed after leaving phone in car he broke into

Ricky James has been jailed for three years for a series of vehicle thefts Photo: Hampshire Police

A thief who smashed into vehicles across Basingstoke has been jailed for three years after he left his phone in one of the cars he targeted.

Ricky James who's 38 and of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to 12 thefts from motor vehicles, five fraud charges and one theft of a motor vehicle.

He also asked for seven thefts from motor vehicles to be taken into consideration.

Ricky James has been jailed for three years for a series of vehicle thefts Credit: Hampshire Police

Winchester Crown Court heard the offences happened between July 14 and August 3.

When stealing from vehicles he would smash a window to gain entry and steal purses or wallets from inside. He would then take any bank cards and use them to make contactless payments at nearby stores.

His phone was found in one of the cars he targeted, he was arrested again on August 3 at his sister’s house in Basingstoke.

“James embarked on this crime spree to fund his drug addiction, looking into vehicles and breaking into any which had items on display.

“I hope this sentencing comes as some reassurance to residents that we do take crimes like this seriously and we will take action to bring those responsible to justice.

“I would like also like to take this opportunity to remind people not to leave anything of value in their cars because sadly there are those who will see that as a chance to satisfy their own greed.”

– PC Phillip Chalke, from Basingstoke CID