Two men who stole a sword and machete after breaking into an empty home in north Shropshire have been jailed.
Jason Anthony Vernon and William Eric Steele raided the house in Woodseaves, near Market Drayton, on May 13. But the theft was rumbled when police stopped their vehicle near Market Drayton swimming pool and found a number of items inside – including the two weapons.
Vernon, 33, of Crewe, was jailed for three years at Shrewsbury Crown Court on Wednesday and Steele, 30, also of Crewe, was sent to prison for 12 months.
Both men had admitted burgling the cottage, while Vernon also admitted going equipped for theft with gloves, torches, screwdrivers and a stethoscope, possessing a weapon – a sword – in a public place and a similar charge involving a machete.
Police have welcomed the sentences handed out to Vernon and Steele and have claimed it has sent out a ‘clear message’ that people who raid homes will face prison.
Detective Sergeant Andy Chatting, of West Mercia Police, said the two men had both travelled into the county ‘intent on committing crime’.
He said: “We are pleased with the sentences imposed. It sends out a clear message that people who break into homes and other property are likely to end up in prison.
“These two offenders had travelled into Shropshire from their Cheshire home area intent on committing crime. They were arrested after being spotted acting suspiciously, thanks to the vigilance of local police officers in Market Drayton.
“West Mercia Police is currently running Citadel, a force-wide initiative aimed at reducing the number of burglars and increasing detections.
“Tackling burglary, especially when it involves breaking into people’s homes, continues to be one of our top priorities,” he added.