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Burglar jailed after leaving evidence at West Bridgford house

A burglar has been caught and jailed after leaving thumbprints on a window frame at a crime scene.

Persistent thief Lee Quarless left the forensic evidence behind after breaking into a home in West Bridgford.

The victim awoke on the morning of 14 May 2023 to discover her car keys and Fiat 500 had been stolen overnight.

She found a window in her lounge was ajar and other items including a handbag, medication and cigarettes were missing.

Detectives attended the scene and discovered the thumbprints after carrying out a detailed forensic examination of the property.

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The victim received a speeding ticket two days after the break-in when the stolen car activated a camera in Newark.

Officers from the force’s county burglary team were then able to recover the vehicle after tracing it to a car park Lover’s Lane, Newark.

Thirty-six-year-old Quarless, of Flintham, Newark, was arrested by Lincolnshire Police on separate matters and interviewed by detectives in Nottinghamshire.

While in custody he damaged a custody cell at Mansfield Police Station.

He was jailed for three years and nine months when he appeared at Nottingham Crown Court for sentencing on Wednesday (29 November).

Quarless had earlier pleaded guilty to burglary, aggravated vehicle taking, criminal damage and driving without a licence or insurance.

He also admitted carrying out an earlier burglary at a shop in Goose Gate, Nottingham city, in the early hours of 6 April 2023.

Quarless broke through the front entrance to the store in order to steal clothes worth around £1,000 and a safe containing almost £300.

Officers were able to identify Quarless as the offender from a CCTV image.
Trainee Detective Constable Hannah Lees, of Nottinghamshire Police, said:

“Unsurprisingly this house break-in caused considerable upset to the victim, who is constantly reminded of the stranger who invaded her family home and ransacked her belongings.

“Burglary is a horrible, invasive crime and we work hard as a force to put offenders before the courts and educate people on how to take steps which reduce their chance of becoming a victim.

“The county burglary team worked tirelessly to trace the stolen vehicle and this proactive police work has directly led to this excellent outcome in court.

“Burglaries on retail premises and other businesses also have a lasting impact. No one deserves to come into work to discover their takings and stock have been swiped by an intruder.

“These were exemplary investigations by all involved and have helped to put a persistent burglar behind bars while no doubt preventing other residents falling victim to his offending.”

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