Two men were sentenced yesterday, Tuesday, at Gloucester Crown Court for a spate of burglaries and thefts at outbuildings, garages and industrial parks across the county.

Charles Brazil, 30, of Sandhurst Lane, Gloucester and Christopher Smith, 30, of Sandhurst Lane, Gloucester pleaded guilty to four burglaries, an attempted burglary and a theft and asked for eight other offences to be taken into consideration.

Brazil was given a 16-month prison term while Smith, who also pleaded guilty to driving while disqualified, was given a two year custodial sentence.

Tools, copper, plant machinery, vehicle batteries and industrial mowers were amongst tens of thousand of pounds worth of items the pair stole from rural areas across the county.

Properties in Gossington, Deerhurst, Cleeve Hill, Colethrop and Edge were targeted between August and November last year but offences taken into consideration included a theft from an industrial estate in Ross-on-Wye and burglaries at a farm in Beaversbrook and a business in Avonmouth.

Gloucestershire Police led the investigation, analysing CCTV footage and intelligence to connect both offenders to the incidents.

At one break-in an empty cigarette packet discarded at the scene was forensically analysed and linked to Smith while a fingerprint recovered at another burglary proved to be Brazil's.

An image taken from an Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) camera showing what the duo was wearing was also used to establish they had been at the scene of one of the offences.

PC Gav Davis, of the force’s crime operations team, said: "Our officers showed great dedication and attention to detail to gather the evidence in this case, so much so that Brazil and Smith pleaded guilty to the charges against them.

"The pair systematically targeted properties in rural border areas because they thought they were vulnerable and would get away with it. We've proved them wrong.

"I'm pleased for the victims, all of whom had been left distressed and very out of pocket by these men's actions and I hope it shows everyone that we can and will go after thieves and burglars who travel around our county and try to exploit our borders."