A MAN who considered himself a 'master' jewellery thief has been jailed for 12-and-a-half years.
Peter O'Halloran, 49, was sentenced at Cambridge Crown Court on Friday, having earlier pleaded guilty to three burglaries, one of which saw the theft of £700,000 worth of heirlooms.
O'Halloran was caught after leaving his DNA on a ladder he stole to commit one of his burglaries, while investigators found cash and jewellery at his home worth more than £500,000
Police also found a book in O'Halloran's bedroom titled Confessions of a Master Jewellery Thief.
"O'Halloran is a calculated, professional, high-value burglar with a string of convictions against his name," said Detective Constable Lisa Bacon from Cambridgeshire Constabulary.
Using DNA and CCTV images, police linked O'Halloran to a series of burglaries across Cambridgeshire, Northamptonshire and Norfolk.
After raiding his Suffolk home in November last year, police found £60,000 in cash concealed within a desk.
They also found a hoard of coins worth up to £80,000, as well as watches and bags of gems, all believed to be worth more than half-a-million pounds.
Detectives also found an ultrasonic cleaning machine in his garage, while inside his vehicle were false number plates, mobile phones, cash and changes of clothes.
Elsewhere in his house were books about antiques, fine metals, jewellery and gems.
O'Halloran was caught out after leaving his DNA on a ladder he used to break into a property in Church Street, Guilden Morden, Cambridgeshire on March 4, 2022.
He stole the ladder from a nearby property and was captured on CCTV walking around the boundary of the home, using it to peer through windows before breaking in and taking jewellery and watches.
Officers then went on to identify O'Halloran in CCTV images from a burglary in Northamptonshire in January 2019, where heirlooms worth around £700,000 were stolen.
O'Halloran, of Gardeners Road, Debenham, Stowmarket, pleaded guilty to the Guilden Morden burglary as well as the burglary in Northamptonshire and a third in Norfolk.
A further nine burglaries across five counties were taken into consideration.
"He considers himself a 'master' thief, carefully surveying the homes he is going to target and then going to great lengths to ensure the stolen items are not traced back to him," added DC Bacon.
"I hope this sentence provides some closure to all of the victims affected by his criminality."