A burglar has been jailed after he was caught on camera casually strolling through his victim’s home in a video which led to him being identified through Facebook.
Colin Ellinor stole £3,000 of cash and jewellery, including wedding rings and cash from children’s money boxes, from a house in Climping, West Sussex.
But the 55-year-old was caught after footage from a motion-sensitive camera in the property was shared on social media.
Burglar Colin Ellinor was caught by a motion-sensitive camera in his victims’ homes and was caught by police after the footage was shared on Facebook
A retired police officer recognised the suspect as Ellinor, and other members of the public came forward following an appeal on July 31.
A week later, Ellinor was spotted by another motion sensor cameras trying to break into a house in Bognor Regis.
Images were again shared on Facebook and several people gave his name to police. Ellinor was spotted in Bognor Regis the next day and was arrested.
He pleaded guilty to burglary and with attempted burglary with intent to steal at Lewes Crown Court on Wednesday last week.
Ellinor has now been jailed for three years
Ellinor, of no fixed address, was jailed for three years for each count, to run concurrently.
Police praised the ‘key role’ social media played in bringing him to justice.
Detective Constable Jon Woolley, from the West Sussex Community Investigation Team, said: ‘Social media played a key role in bringing this prolific burglar to justice.
‘He was initially recognised by a retired police officer following the incident in Climping, and after further CCTV images of the attempted burglary in North Bersted Street, Bognor Regis were circulated, we received several more calls from members of the public who nominated the same suspect.
‘CCTV and motion sensor cameras are becoming more affordable and more widely available, and in these cases they provided vital evidence which led to Ellinor’s conviction.
‘The incidents have left the victims understandably distressed, and I hope it gives them peace of mind that this serial offender is now behind bars.’