A BURGLAR who preyed on the elderly and infirm throughout the Helston and Lizard area has been jailed for nearly four years.
John Bulley, of Cury, near Helston, travelled up and down the A394 targeting specific homes and raiding them, at times while the residents slept.
Bulley, 35, bagged a haul that included hundreds of pounds in cash plus credit and debit cards, a Kindle e-book reader and a laptop computer, in raids on homes in Perranuthnoe, Porthleven and Stithians.
But he was caught after he used one of the stolen cards at a cash machine at a Penzance superstore.
On Friday Bulley pleaded guilty at Truro Crown Court to five counts of burglary between September 30 and October 22.
He was sentenced to three years and nine months.
He pleaded not guilty to another burglary in Gulval and the Crown Prosecution Service withdrew the charge.
Bulley's crimes took place in September and October last year.
At the home of an elderly Porthleven resident on September 30, he stole cash and a bank card. At Stithians, on October 10, an elderly resident lost hundreds of pounds in cash, a debit card and his late wife's purse.
Then, in the early hours of October 22, Bulley entered a house in Perranuthnoe while the resident was asleep and stole a laptop computer and a credit card. That card was then used to withdraw £300 at a cash machine at Morrisons in Penzance.
Police examined CCTV footage from the store and identified a black Peugeot car with a missing hubcap. That car was later spotted by officers in a lay-by and inside was a credit card stolen earlier in Stithians.
Investigating officer Detective Constable Clive Addington, from Penzance police, said: "Elderly people were being particularly targeted by this man. Many of the victims were in their eighties.
"The offending was prolific and unusual."
Inspector Jean Phillips said: "To have a series of burglaries like this is still, luckily, unusual in west Cornwall. I'm pleased with the result because the sentence reflects the seriousness of the crimes involved."