A man has been sentenced to six years in prison after pleading guilty to distraction burglary offences.
Christopher Henry, aged 54, of Blenheim Park Road in South Croydon, appeared before Woolwich Crown Court on Friday, October 4.
One offence occurred at a home in St Albans in November 2018, when an 86-year-old woman was home alone in her flat.
The woman answered a knock at the door by a middle-aged man, who explained that he was a plumber responding to a callout from her neighbour who had a leak in their property.
He said he needed access to her premises so he could check under the kitchen sink for the leak.
The victim accompanied the man into her kitchen and helped move items out from under the sink so he could access the pipework.
Whilst she was distracted in the kitchen and unknown to her, a second man entered her property, searching her bedroom and stealing five gold rings and a £20 note.
During the trial Henry also plead guilty to two further offences committed in 2018, were he had gained access to the homes of elderly people by means of deception and stolen jewellery and cash.
DC Craig Blake, who investigated the case, said: “Henry preyed on some of the most vulnerable people in the community and his crime will have had a serious effect on his victim who has had her home violated and lost some treasured possessions.
“The sentence handed out reflects the callous nature of his crime and I will act as a warning and a deterrent to thieves who seek to prey on the vulnerable in our society.”