Prolific burglar who made Peterborough residents' lives a misery, escapes immediate jail sentence

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A burglar who made Bretton residents' lives a misery has today escaped an immediate jail sentence.

Matthew Masters, 29, from Benland, Peterborough, appeared at Cambridge Crown Court this morning (Monday), via a video link from Peterborough Crown Court. He was sentenced to 12 months in prison, suspended for 18 months.

The court was told that on December 12 last year, Masters was caught on CCTV at a property in Dunsberry, Bretton, Peterborough, trying the handles of a caravan and garages to see if they were unlocked.

He then climbed over the garden gate and tried the doors of the home, shining a torch through the windows, before breaking into a shed and making off with a pressure washer.

The police investigation led to Masters and on January 30 he was arrested at his girlfriend’s house in Bretton. Following his arrest, suspected stolen items were found during searches of his, and his girlfriend’s, properties.

Masters, of Benland, Bretton, Peterborough, admitted the burglary and a further 16 shed and garage burglaries between November 2017 and January this year.

Masters explained he would walk around for a couple of hours in the night, checking gates and doors and go inside to see what he could find. He also admitted trying car doors and stealing coins from the cars he could get into.

Detective Constable Kevin Poole said: “Masters is a prolific offender who has had a huge impact on the Bretton community.

“Burglary can have a devastating effect on victims and it is a top priority for the force. I am pleased with the sentence handed out by the judge and it shows that burglary will not be tolerated.

“It is vital that we use every opportunity to prevent burglary and I urge the public to visit our crime prevention website pages and take the few simple steps to make their home more secure. This will significantly reduce your chances of becoming a victim of crime.”

Earlier this month the force launched Operation Aware, which aims to tackle burglary by targeting offenders and urging homeowners to take “one more step” to improve their home security.

Visit for burglary prevention advice.