A former burglar who is now helping police to tackle other offenders has given his advice to people seeking to protect their homes.
The Kettering man, known only as Mark, was released from prison in September after serving two-and-a-half years.
He said he had had enough of prison life after serving numerous sentences since the mid-1990s.
The 31-year-old said: “I’ve always done it.
“I started when I was 13 or 14. Originally it was to fund a drug habit.”
He described his methods, saying he did not always go out with the intention of carrying out a burglary, saying: “From walking around I’d come across a situation which would benefit me at the time. You can always knock on a house door, and if no-one answers, you just go in round the back. If there was a dog in the house I’d go and buy some food for it.
“I’d try a window. If it wasn’t open I’d get it open.In terms of tools, I would get something from their shed so I wouldn’t have to carry tools around with me. Force would be my last option and I would have to make sure it wouldn’t cause any noise.”
Mark said he could even climb through a window as big as a computer screen.
Asked if he ever felt bad about committing burglaries, he said: “I couldn’t do it if I felt remorse.”
Mark said alarm boxes, even fakes, were a deterrent to him, as he did not have time to check if they were real. Security lights also put him off targeting a property, while he also avoided homes in more populated areas.
He added: “I’d have about eight locks on my door, because I have done what I have done in the past and I know what people can be like.”
Mark said he hoped he could now get his life back on track. He added: “Before I wouldn’t mind going back to jail. I haven’t been out this long ever before.
“I’m looking forward to Christmas. I’ve got all the family coming down.”
Read more on Northamptonshire Police’s crackdown on burglars in this week’s Northants Telegraph – in shops on Thursday or on our tablet apps.