A MAN has been sent to prison after stealing people's mobile phones while they were in church.
Prolific offender, James Joyce, 35 of Copley Close, Hanwell was sentenced to a total of 24 weeks imprisonment at Ealing Magistrates’ Court on Monday January 20 for two counts of theft in Ealing in November 2013.
On November 10 and 17 last year, he went to St. Barnabas Church in Pitshanger Lane, Ealing and stole a number of mobile phones. Police viewed CCTV and found footage of Joyce rummaging through the victims’ bags.
PC Edwin Ade, from Cleveland Safer Neighbourhoods Team, gave Joyce’s description to local Neighbourhood Watch groups and volunteers.
On Saturday November 23, while on foot patrol in Pitshanger Village, PC Ade and PCSO Lee Briden were informed that a person matching Joyce's description was in Pitshanger Lane. The officers found Joyce and he was arrested.
He initially denied the charges but later admitted them in court.
Police Sergeant James Ayling from Ealing Local Policing team said: “ This is a great example of local officers at grass routes using local knowledge to solve crimes and to dramatically improve community confidence in the police. Joyce is a prolific thief and I have no doubt that if he had not been arrested he would have continued with his activities.
"Pitshanger Village will be a much safer place to live and visit for the time he spends in prison.”