Se­rial thief is sent to prison

Kent Messenger Maidstone - - FRONT PAGE -

A bal­a­clava-wear­ing bur­glar who struck a man with an iron bar when he was dis­turbed has been jailed.

Wi l l iam Rye was sen­tenced to two years and eight months at Maid­stone Crown Court for a string of of­fences be­tween Oc t o b e r and Novem­ber 2017.

In one in­ci­dent in Couch­man Green Lane, Sta­ple­hurst, Rye was dis­turbed by a vic­tim and chased. He struck the man on his shoul­der with an iron bar.

Fur­ther of­fences in­cluded a bur­glary, also in Sta­ple­hurst, where he raided stor­age con­tain­ers off Wilden Park Road. The 42-year-old stole a num­ber of Air­soft ri­fles as well as smoke grenades and body ar­mour.

Rye was ar­rested on Novem­ber 8. A search of an ad­dress he was linked to in Sut­ton Close, Mar­den, led to the seizure of some of the stolen paint ball car­tridges and smoke grenades. A bal­a­clava was also found which matched some of the vic­tims’ de­scrip­tions.

DNA was re­cov­ered from zips and straps of a ruck­sack found at the crime scene in Couch­man Green Lane.

Foren­sic ev­i­dence also placed Rye at a bur­glary in Dean Street, East Far­leigh, were he had stolen cash and tools.

For­merly of Vicarage Lane, East Far­leigh, Rye pleaded guilty to three charges of bur­glary and a charge of as­sault oc­ca­sion­ing ac­tual bod­ily harm. A fur­ther three of­fences were held on file.

Pic­ture: Kent Po­lice

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