Jailed: Dagenham burglar who took luxury items worth almost £30k

John James Courtney of Longbridge Road, Dagenham, has been jailed for four years after a series of b

John James Courtney of Longbridge Road, Dagenham, has been jailed for four years after a series of burglaries in west and central London. Picture: MPS - Credit: Archant

A Dagenham burglar who raided a home even after the owner warned him he was caught on CCTV has been jailed for four years.

John James Courtney, of Longbridge Road, carried out four burglaries between August and January in Notting Hill, Fitzrovia and Maida Vale.

The 44-year-old snatched property with a combined value of £27,600 including £15,800 worth of jewellery, laptops, a watch and designer handbag in one raid in Linden Gardens, Notting Hill.

He was caught after his DNA was found at or near all the properties he targeted.

Courtney struck first while the owner of the Linden Gardens home was out on August 31. A smear of blood found on a door lock matched his.

He grabbed a knife and lunged at one occupant when they tried to detain him after returning home during his second burglary in Cleveland Street, Fitzrovia on September 30.

Detectives found the knife Courtney dropped as he fled from the property and his glasses which were broken during the struggle with his victims. Both proved vital in linking him to the burglary.

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Another of Courtney’s victims was alerted by text message that a security camera at his home in Queens Gardens, Notting Hill, had been activated, alerting him to the raid on October 16.

He watched live CCTV footage of Courtney rifling through his things, telling him through the device that he was calling police.

But in spite of the warning, Courtney carried on before sneaking off.

However, he left behind a mobile phone which officers linked to him forensically.

Courtney pocketed items worth £11,200 including a Rolex watch, laptop and jewellery in his fourth break in at an address in Clifton Road, Maida Vale on January 10.

A bit of wood he used to force his way in and left at the scene was also found by police.

A Met spokesman said: “Though officers from the central west burglary unit were quick to link Courtney to the offences, and despite extensive inquiries to trace him, he remained elusive, but he was caught on February 11.”

Courtney pleaded guilty to four counts of burglary, breaching a criminal behaviour order and possession of Class B drug cannabis.

He appeared at Wood Green Crown Court on April 23 where he was sentenced.