A BURGLAR who targeted elderly people in Cheshire was found after breaking into a Chester hotel with an imitation gun on his bed.
Stuart Ian Hipkiss was jailed for four and a half years at Chester Crown Court after admitting a string of offences in the Whitchurch area and possessing an imitation firearm.
He was seen after he gained entry into the Alton Lodge Hotel, Hoole Road on August 24.
A witness found him asleep in one of the rooms with a gun on top of the bed. One of the glass panels on the door next to the lock had been smashed. He was later picked out during a video identification procedure.
Inspector Sarah Wagstaff, in charge of policing for North Shropshire, said the sentence reflected the seriousness of the offences.
She said: “Hipkiss targeted elderly and vulnerable people, often while they were asleep. He broke into their homes searching for money, jewellery and other valuables.
“The offences he committed caused tremendous distress to his victims and I am delighted he has now been brought to justice.”
Hipkiss, of no fixed address, admitted the Cheshire robbery and the burglary at a complex of sheltered accommodation in Whitchurch and asked for a further 11 offences to be considered.
In one instance, Hipkiss entered a flat occupied by an elderly woman in sheltered accommodation while she was asleep, he entered her bedroom and stole a collection of jewellery and searched other rooms for valuables, stealing cash, a television and a handbag.
Inspector Wagstaff added: “Hipkiss was a prolific offender who caused considerable upset through his actions. I’m delighted we were able to arrest him and place him before the court due to a combination of good policing and support from victims and other members of the public.”