A prolific burglar who used a self-made wire tool and wore socks on his hands when he broke into Katikati and Tauranga homes has been sent to jail for three years.
Raynor Bryan, 36, who had pleaded guilty to 32 burglary charges, a breach of community work and a breach of supervision, was sentenced in Tauranga District Court yesterday.
He must pay his victims a total of $4225 at $25 a week on his release from prison.
Bryan's major crime spree began in September 2009 after he lost his job at a Katikati sawmill and the $65,000 salary. At night he would prowl the streets checking contents of mailboxes, looking for cars in driveways and peering in windows, before entering countless properties.
Between September 18 and December 30, 2009, Bryan burgled 20 houses in Katikati. When he moved to Mansels Rd in Tauranga he started burgling houses on his own street.
Bryan would make himself at home, sometimes for days and often he returned multiple times to re-burgle the occupants. He took alcohol, smokes, small amounts of cash, and other relatively minor items in an attempt to ensure his crimes went unreported.
Although during one burglary in Katikati he stole a large screen television after he cooked himself a meal, trashed the place and left a threatening letter stating if his victim did not provide him with money he would return.
When Bryan and a male associate were caught on December 28, 2010, Bryan was hiding in the bedroom of a Mansels Rd house and was wearing socks on his hands.
His lawyer John Holmes said his client's life went on a downward-spiral after he lost his job and "alcohol entered his life".
Judge Christopher Harding told Bryan that victim impact statements showed there had been a significant impact on his victims.
It had caused them enormous distress and some didn't feel safe in their homes anymore.