A gas engineer who stole ‘priceless’ and ‘irreplaceable’ jewellery from people while carrying out work in their homes has been jailed for a year and a half.
Gavin Seagar, 43, of Aldham End, Elmsett, Suffolk, was sentenced at Ipswich Crown Court yesterday (Monday) after previously pleading guilty to nine counts of theft from a dwelling following an investigation by the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit (ERSOU).
Seagar carried out a string of thefts across the eastern region in 2018 and 2019. While carrying out legitimate work as a gas engineer, he would make excuses to search other rooms for easily concealable items, including jewellery and cash.
On one occasion, he stole an engagement ring from a woman in Ashford, Kent. The woman had the ring for more than 50 years and described it as a priceless as it was given to her by her late husband.
In West Malling, Kent, Seagar stole more than £16,000 worth of jewellery from his victim, including rings bought for her by her husband who had died a few years previously.
While visiting a property in Middlesex, Seagar stole a watch that had been bought in 1966 while the victim was working for the merchant navy. The victim described it as irreplaceable.
He also stole valuable rings from two different properties in Mildenhall, as well as significant quantities of cash from addresses in Felixstowe, Suffolk, and Swanton Morley, Norfolk.
Detective Constable Roland Philpin, from ERSOU, said: “Seagar used his position as a gas engineer to steal sentimental items from often elderly victims. This was not a one off opportunist crime, he persistently stole from people across the region while working for several different companies.
“Although this sentence cannot make up for the emotional distress Seagar has caused his victims, we hope that it will provide some comfort that he is now facing justice for his actions.”DC Roland Philpin