A BURGLAR has been jailed after ransacking the home of a retired couple and stealing £10,000 worth of jewellery.

CCTV footage of burglars and descriptions of gems stolen from an Accrington couple led to the arrest of Stanley Makowiecki when he tried to sell the items on.

He was jailed for eight months for burglary at Burnley Crown Court on Wednesday after taking irreplacable sentimental items from the Whalley Road home of James and Sandra Foster.

He was also given eight months concurrently for fraudulently trying to sell the items. Both the Fosters and the police have thanked members of the community for coming forward with information leading to his arrest after a press appeal.

Following information given to police, the couple were reuinited with many treasured belongings including a family heirloom gold pocket watch.

The watch inscribed ‘Altham School, George Thomas Rushton 50 years service’ belonged to Mrs Foster’s great-grandfather who was the school’s caretaker.

Mr Foster, 74, who is a former Hyndburn councillor, said: “The police did a marvellous job of keeping us informed at every stage and we can’t thank them enough. As soon as they heard where the items where, they had them back with us in record time.

“We have got the majority of the items back, but some things are still missing. Things like wedding rings belonging to my wife’s relatives, which can’t be replaced.

“We are so grateful to everyone who has helped. The shopkeeper who he tried to sell the items to recognised the pictures and descriptions. We have been told he is out of pocket for helping us and we are so grateful to him.”

CCTV footage released in January of the two burglars led to the arrest of Stanley Makowiecki, 25 of Queens Street, Clayton-le-Moors. The other man in the CCTV footage is still wanted by police.

PC Stephen Dundon urged people to get in touch if they recognised the second man pictured. He said: “I would like to thank people who came forward with very valuable inforamtion. It is always satisfying if we can return stolen items to victims of burglaries, particularly such sentimental ones. We take burglaries and the distress it causes people extremely seriously. We leave no stone unturned when it comes to catching culprits and returning stolen property.” Anyone with information can contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.