Tunbridge Wells Burglar Caught On Camera Phone

22 February 2019, 12:34 | Updated: 22 February 2019, 13:14

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A Tunbridge Wells burglar who was photographed by a member of public trying to leave a crime scene has been sentenced to almost four years in prison.

Michael Maloney had tried to burgle a flat in Mount Ephraim in December last year (2018).

He was disturbed as he tried to enter through a sash window.

At the same time a man walking towards his car had seen him acting suspiciously.

He followed the direction the suspect was heading in and after seeing him again in Molyneaux Park Road took a photo. 

It was passed to Kent Police and Maloney was identified as the culprit.

Town centre CCTV showed him driving a green Ford Fiesta and three days later he was spotted by patrols getting into the vehicle and arrested.

When searched gift vouchers for a department store were found on him, as well as in a property linked to Maloney in Calverley Street in Tunbridge Wells.

Enquires would link the vouchers to the victim of another burglary which had also taken place on 6 December.

Maloney, aged 38 and of no fixed address, was charged with attempted burglary, handling stolen goods, possession of cannabis and driving without insurance or a licence.

He was remanded in custody pending his court case, during which time detectives were able to link him to another break-in.

On this occasion jewellery and a First World War medal were stolen from a home in Kentish Gardens, Broadwater Down, in November last year.

Maloney was then also charged with this burglary.

Appearing before Maidstone Crown Court he pleaded guilty to all the offences and was sentenced to three years and eight months imprisonment.

The court also ordered forfeiture of the Ford Fiesta he had been driving.

Sergeant Jim Farley said:

“Michael Maloney is a prolific criminal who appears to be incapable of changing his ways.

“Had he not been caught, I have no doubt he would have carried out further offences, causing misery to even more victims in the run up Christmas.

“The phone image provided to us proved crucial in identifying him and tracking him down and I would like to express my thanks to the member of public whose quick thinking and resilience have helped us ensure Maloney is now safely behind bars and unable to cause further harm and distress.”

Tunbridge Wells burglar caught on phone camera jailed