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Jail for man on crime spree across Norwich

09:28 11 March 2014

James Patzelt was jailed for five years today.

James Patzelt was jailed for five years today.

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A prolific burglar who targeted almost 50 homes around Norwich has been sent to prison for five years.

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A prolific burglar who targeted almost 50 homes around Norwich has been sent to prison for five years.

James Patzelt, of Half Mile Close, was responsible for a one-man crime wave across the city since 2012 – racking up £62,000 in stolen goods.

Kitted out with a “burglar kit”, Patzelt knocked on front doors to check if the houses were empty before opening the windows with his crowbar.

The 32-year-old told police officers “you got me” after he was caught red-handed burgling a house on Palace Road in the city.

Patzelt was sentenced at Norwich Crown Court yesterday after admitting two burglaries and going equipped.

He admitted 47 other offences, most which were burglaries. From one home he stole goods worth £10,000.

Recorder Guy Ayers described the spate of thefts as an “absolute spree” and said Patzelt was responsible for a “crime wave” across Norwich.

Sentencing him, he said: “It was not spur of the moment. You went out tooled up, ready and able to commit.

“You have your own style, modus operandi, knocking on doors, trying to find an empty property and crowbarring your way in.”

Andrea Lock, prosecuting, said Patzelt carried a green holdall, his “burglar kit”, and stole items including a TV, DVD player, iPod, two laptops, and a mobile phone.

Patzelt once made an excuse he was looking for an address in Dereham and when one householder opened the door he tried to obscure his face by talking on his mobile phone.

When arrested Patzelt said that he had committed the burglaries because he was in debt, wanted to feed his family and because his partner’s benefits had been cut.

Michael Clare, defending, said Patzelt, who has a history of heroin abuse, now wants to make a “fresh start”.

He said: “He knows the householders have suffered at his hands.”

Det Sgtt Tom Smith, from Norwich CID, welcomed Patzelt’s custodial sentence.

He said: “Patzelt is now behind bars where he belongs and I hope this sentence goes some way to reassure his victims and allow them to move forward having suffered the traumatic experience of being burgled.

“Patzelt did co-operate during the investigation and we hope he now sees this as an opportunity to turn his life around.”

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