BURGLARS who stole Christmas presents from an elderly woman and carried off their haul in a wheelie bin have been jailed.

Joe Glyptis and Ernie Taylor took the wrapped gifts, worth £600, from a caravan outside a home at The Birches in Stourport, carting them off in a wheelie bin they took from outside another property nearby in Willowdene the same night.

However they were spotted with the wheelie bin and caught thanks to the local knowledge of Stourport patrol officers PC Paul Modley and PC Stephen Harris. They recognised Glyptis and Taylor from descriptions phoned in by a member of the public and tracked them down to a caravan park. Inside one of the caravans there they were overheard by the officers talking about the crime.

A search led to the wheelie bin being found nearby along with the wrapping paper inside it. Police subsequently recovered all the stolen presents, which included clothing and toys.

Glyptis, aged 26, of The Gables Yard caravan park, Broach Road, Stourport, and Taylor, aged 27 of Lickhill Road, Stourport, appeared before Kidderminster magistrates on January 16 when they were jailed for 18 weeks after admitting the burglary which they committed on December 17 last year. They were given concurrent six-week sentences for theft of the wheelie bin which they also admitted.

Speaking after the case PC Modley said that when the presents were recovered the elderly woman who owned them did not even realise they were missing. She was traced after police found her details on a discarded box inside the wheelie bin.

PC Modley said: “Glyptis and Taylor were arrested very quickly and it was fitting that they were remanded in custody over the Christmas period because the theft of the presents could have ruined the festivities for the victim and her relatives. Fortunately there was a happy ending for her while the offenders ended up losing their liberty over Christmas – you could say they got their just desserts.

“We’re very grateful to the gentleman who reported this pair acting suspiciously in the area that night and it illustrates the importance of telling us when you see such activity rather than doing so hours or even days afterwards. It’s something we have been stressing as part of our Citadel initiative addressing burglary and this is a classic example of an occasion when we have been able to quickly follow up on information and get a result."