A ‘sophisticated’ burglar with a university degree gave police the slip by switching getaway cars midway through his crime spree.
Amir Alvi, 22, was one of a gang of three crooks responsible for 12 house burglaries in just one month last year.
This week all three of them were jailed by a crown court judge.
Together with Ashley Winter and Benjamin Lewis, both also 22, Alvi ransacked rooms, damaged property and stole items of sentimental value from all over Milton Keynes and South Northamptonshire.
One of them was a particularly callous theft from an elderly couple, whose savings certificates were stolen and then burned.
Northampton Crown Court heard this week how the gang of three was arrested halfway into the spree.
But afterwards they simply changed cars, swapping a stolen car for a hired one, and continued to break into homes.
The IT graduate, despite being a disqualified driver, was responsible for transporting Winter and Lewis from burglary to burglary, the court heard.
On November 9 last year, two weeks into their spree, they struck in Hanslope.
A vigilant member of the public memorised the registration of the silver VW car they were using and reported it to police.
As a result the trio was arrested and suspected stolen goods found in the car.
But police released them on delayed charge bail.
Almost immediately they resumed their spree and broke into more homes.
Instead of using the VW, Alvi changed to a hired Ford Focus.
Prosecuting, Miss Nadia Silver said: “Over the course of a month, from the end of October to the end of November last year, these defendants between them were responsible for some 12 dwelling house burglaries.”
Sentencing Judge Bray said: “I’ve become very familiar with people being released on bail and then committing further offences. This defendant simply carried on and swapped cars.
“This was quite sophisticated offending as the properties were plainly targeted.
“Items of great sentimental value were stolen, houses damaged and rooms ransacked. One can only imagine the distress of the victims, some of them elderly.”
Alvi received four separate consecutive sentences amounting to four years and seven months’ imprisonment.
He was also banned from driving for two years.
Winter and Lewis were each sentenced to three years and nines months in prison.
Said Judge Bray: “I can see no real reason to distinguish between you.”