A PROLIFIC offender who has made a career out of burgling city homes has been put back behind bars.
Warren Westmoreland has been jailed for four years and nine months after committing a spate of burglaries in the Exwick area of Exeter.
The 38-year-old was caught red-handed burgling a home in Lavender Road.
Witness Adam Norcott rang police and gave them a running commentary on what Westmoreland was doing until officers arrived at the scene.
A scuffle then ensued in the kitchen before police were able to arrest him.
Investigating officer Detective Constable Matt Burnell told the Echo that snaring Westmoreland would lead to increased safety for the residents of Exwick.
"This was a combination of excellent work by both the officers and witness Adam Norcott," he said.
"Mr Norcott kept a running commentary as he saw Westmoreland going through the house. The officers attended extremely quickly and detained him following a scuffle in the kitchen of the address he was burgling.
"The arrest lead to the recovery of property from at least one other burglary in the area from Westmoreland.
"This highlights some really positive work by officers in partnership with the public.
"It has lead to a prolific burglar being imprisoned and will make a real difference to public safety in the Exwick area."
PC Mark Arthurs, neighbourhood beat manager for Exwick, said: "We had a call from the member of the public who gave us a running commentary as he was overlooking the house and was able to describe exactly what Westmoreland was doing.
"Myself and PC Lyons caught Westmoreland in the house and after a brief scuffle he was taken into custody.
"He was a prolific burglar responsible for all of the burglaries occurring in Exwick, so it is good to be able to reassure residents that he has been caught and jailed."
Westmoreland appeared before Exeter Crown Court where he pleaded guilty to five house burglaries.
A total of 29 other offences were taken into consideration.
In 2003, Westmoreland was jailed for more than eight years after he was caught red-handed by police as he walked out of his neighbour's house with a bag of stolen property.
Police said at the time they believed Westmoreland had been responsible for many more burglaries and that he had been the chief suspect in three spates of raids on 30 homes in Exwick the previous year.