A Warrnambool man who ransacked a couple’s home and stole sentimental jewellery and photos while they slept has been jailed.
Jason Leonard Ryan, 37, pleaded guilty in Dandenong Magistrate’s Court to aggravated burglary and theft.
He was sentenced to two-and-a-half years jail and has already spent 54 days in custody on remand.
On June 8 Ryan broke into and ransacked a business and residential premises in Warrnambool’s Spence Street.
He jemmied open the door to an office while the owners were asleep upstairs.
About $5000 worth of items were stolen, including cash, credit cards, electronics, a diamond wedding ring and a computer hard drive containing two years’ of travel photos.
The items were never recovered.
One victim, who did not wish to be identified, said she thought the offender would never be found.
“We were really lucky that the police were very persistent with our case,” she said.
“It was a few months later that they called and said they had found finger prints on the crowbar that he had left behind. We thought they would never find him. When we found out, we were very happy but also hopeful that the stolen items would be recovered, which unfortunately they weren’t.
“Money can replace most things, but not two years worth of travel photos.”
She said knowing the offender had come into her home while they slept was disturbing.
“I think we’re now more aware of noises at night and we’ve put extra surveillance up around the property in the hope that something like this will never happen again,” she said.
“It is a relief that he now has a bit of time to contemplate his actions.”
She said the missing hard drive was a black WD Passport. She urged anyone who might have seen it to contact police.
“We were quite disappointed that we didn't have time to get them printed or duplicated,” she said.
Anyone with information should call Warrnambool police on 5560 1333 or Crime Stoppers.
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