A burglar is behind bars following a £10,000 jewellery raid  at a retired couple’s Accrington home.

James and Sandra Foster were left heartbroken after sentimental items, including an engraved gold pocket watch, were stolen during the daylight robbery at their home on Whalley Road.

More than half the haul was returned to the couple after an eagle-eyed pawnbroker read about their plight in the Accrington Observer.

Sylwester Makowiecki, 24, was locked up for eight months after pleading guilty to burglary and fraud by misrepresentation at Burnley Crown Court this week.

Makowiecki, from Poland, admitted stealing the gold watch, a jade necklace and a camera and admitted trying to sell the goods.

Sylwester Makowiecki
Sylwester Makowiecki
 

The burglar, of Queens Street, Clayton-le-Moors, was caught out after a police released CCTV footage of Makowiecki and another man, who is still wanted.

A total of 51 items were stolen.

They  included lockets of family hair, Mrs Foster’s late mother’s wedding ring, a blue sapphire jewellery suite, rubies, pearls and a gold brooch George IV sovereign.

Sergeant Eric Halford, of Accrington CID, said police are still searching for the second man involved in the incident.

He said: “There is some suggestion that he may have gone back to Poland. Both men were together when they committed the offence.

“We managed to arrest Makowiecki thanks to information from the local community – a great example of the community helping the police.

“Unfortunately some of the more expensive items are still missing.

“People will continue to commit these offences due to the worth of precious gold so it’s important to keep all expensive items in a safety deposit box as the majority of burglaries now take place in broad daylight.”

Mr Foster, 74,  a former Hyndburn councillor, said important items such as a watch and the suite of sapphire jewellery was returned.

He added: “We’re just glad it’s all over and justice has been done. We’d like to thank the police and the Accrington Observer for their help.”

Anyone with information on the burglary, which happened between midday and 3.30pm on Tuesday, January 15, can contact police on 101.