A serial burglar struck at a hospital, village hall, and a sports club during a local football match – stealing the ref’s phone.
But he left a vital clue – a blood stained piece of kitchen roll after cutting himself while ransacking one building.
David Houghton’s crime spree started when he arrived at Vauxhall Motors football ground in Ellesmere Port.
He sneaked into the referee’s changing room while a game was in progress and took a bag which contained £20 and an expensive mobile phone.
David Houghton, 56, of Capenhurst Lane, appeared at Chester Magistrates Court on 27 January where he was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment after pleading guilty to burglary offences.
Later that evening, on December 19th last year, he gained entry to a village hall on Capenhurst Lane – the same road where he lived.
I have searched the premises and swiped two vacuum cleaners worth around £170 from a cleaning cupboard.
Playstation games and a WIFI extender were also taken along with a microwave and kettle.
The hall’s caretaker had gone to open the hall when they discovered that they had been burgled.
A blood stained piece of kitchen roll had been dropped on the stage area of the premises and was seized as evidence by police.
Cheshire Constabulary said on January 6th Houghton was challenged by the owner of a van in Tarvin after he was seen trying to gain access to it and then drove away in his own car.
The 56-year-old then returned to the Vauxhall Motors football ground on the morning or January 22nd while parents and children were present supporting grass roots football.
He entered the Sports and Social club where he stole bottles of vodka and whiskey.
A day later, I have targeted a hospital in Ellesmere Port. Despite visiting restrictions being in place due to coronavirus measures, Houghton got inside and began trying doors before gaining entry to the kitchen area, taking cash, coffee, tea bags and sugar – all of which would have been used by resident patients and staff at the hospital.
Police had been investigating each incident but following forensic examination, the bloodied kitchen roll from the village hall was found to be a direct DNA hit to Houghton.
CCTV also showed Houghton in and around the places targeted at the time of each offense.
Houghton, 56, of Capenhurst Lane, appeared at Chester Magistrates Court on 27 January where he was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment after pleading guilty to four counts of burglary offenses and one of vehicle interference.
Detective Sergeant Graeme Carvell, of Western Proactive Team, said: “Burglary is a serious offense and Houghton targeted businesses and charity organisations.
“Houghton had no regard for his actions and even managed to gain entry to a hospital and snatched items which were destined to be used by inpatients.
“This good result will see Houghton off the streets and hope it will make anyone who thinks they can get away with burglary in Cheshire to think again. We will not stop in pursuing those bringing misery to our local communities.”