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 Darlington burglar to spend Christmas behind bars


​A BURGLAR who broke into people’s homes and stole their prized possessions will spend Christmas behind bars.

Ryan Blareau broke into a number of properties in the Branksome and Denes areas of Darlington between August and September.

The 31-year-old stole various items during the break-ins, including car keys and a car, mountain bike, games console, mobile phones and laptops.

Blareau, of no fixed abode, admitted charges of burglary, two thefts, attempted burglary, possession of Class A drugs and handling stolen goods.

He was jailed for two years and six months at Teesside Crown Court earlier this week, where he was also ordered to pay court costs of £170.

Detective Sergeant Grant Cockerill, from Darlington CID, said: “Burglary is an extremely intrusive crime that can have a devastating impact on victims and their families.

“We are pleased with the sentence and hope it shows that if we have information you are burgling people’s homes, we will arrest you and ensure you are brought to justice.”

The onset of dark nights can lead to a rise in burglaries, as a house which is in darkness can look empty to an opportunistic criminal. 

Follow these tips to keep your home safe this winter:


• Lock all windows and doors – even if you’re at home.

• A well-lit home gives the impression someone is in.

• Leave a light on or use timer switches so lights come on when it gets dark.

• Don’t leave valuables on show.

• Don’t leave your house and vehicle keys in the lock or on a side table in view of a window, making it easy for a thief to fish them through your letterbox.

• Don’t leave curtains closed during the day, only in the evening and overnight.

• If you have a house alarm, use it.

• Contact your local neighbourhood police team if you see anything suspicious in your area.