A man who considered himself a ‘master’ jewellery thief has been jailed for 12-and-a-half-years. Cambridgeshire Police raided Peter O’Halloran’s home in Suffolk, in November last year, after linking him through DNA and CCTV images to a series of burglaries across the county as well as Northamptonshire and Norfolk.
Inside his home and concealed within a desk they found around £60,000 in cash as well as coins worth up to £80,000, watches and bags of gems, all believed to be worth more than half a million pounds.
In O’Halloran’s bedroom there was a book titled ‘Confessions of a Master Jewellery Thief’ and elsewhere in the house were books about antiques, fine metals, jewellery, and gems.
Detectives also found an ultrasonic cleaning machine in his garage, and inside his vehicle were false number plates, mobile phones, cash, and changes of clothes.
The 49-year-old was caught out after leaving his DNA on a ladder he used to break into a property in Church Street, Guilden Morden on 4 March 2022.
He stole the ladder from a nearby property and was captured on CCTV walking around the boundary of the home, using it to peer through windows. He then broke in and took jewellery and watches.
Officers from Cambridgeshire then went on to identify O’Halloran in CCTV images from a burglary in Northamptonshire in January 2019 where heirlooms worth around £700,000 were stolen.
At Cambridge Crown Court on Friday (17 November), O’Halloran, of Gardeners Road, Debenham, Stowmarket, was sentenced to 12 and a half years in prison after pleading guilty to the Guilden Morden burglary as well as the burglary in Northamptonshire and a third in Norfolk.
A further nine burglaries across five counties, of which four took place in Cambridgeshire in Waresley, Newton and two in Brington between January and November 2022, were taken into consideration.
Detective Constable Lisa Bacon, from the Southern Burglary Team, said: “O’Halloran is a calculated, professional, high-value burglar with a string of convictions against his name.
“He considers himself a ‘master’ thief, carefully surveying the homes he is going to target and then going to great lengths to ensure the stolen items are not traced back to him.
“I hope this sentence provides some closure to all of the victims affected by his criminality.”