Gas meter reader took a chance and burgled house but CCTV caught up with him and is now jailed

PUBLISHED: 16:57 10 May 2010 | UPDATED: 09:38 02 June 2010

A VICTIM says she no longer feels safe in her home after a gas meter reader burgled her while on duty. Ryan Rodway was given a high position of trust by his employers to read gas and electric meters at residential properties. But when a 77-year-old le

A VICTIM says she "no longer feels safe in her home" after a gas meter reader burgled her while on duty.

Ryan Rodway was given a "high position of trust" by his employers to read gas and electric meters at residential properties.

But when a 77-year-old left her door open for decorators, the opportunistic thief couldn't help but pounce.

He stole a wallet belonging to her daughter, spent the cash and withdrew £300 from a bank card.

Jailing Rodway for five months, Recorder Hodge Malek said: "This is a very serious offence and a breach of trust. You have let yourself down, you really have."

In a statement read out at Cambridge Crown Court, the 77-year-old said the theft had a "really bad effect" on her.

Her daughter, who was visiting at the time, added that she was "greatly upset" by what had happened and that it had caused her considerable distress.

Rodway was reading meters in Bridge Street, Chatteris on December 14 2009 when he came across a property with the door ajar.

Defence barrister James Weston said the defendant took an "entirely impulsive and opportunistic" split-second decision.

He said Rodway had "financial stresses" and that the temptation to steal was just too much.

Mr Weston added: "As the door opened it is clear that greed got the better of him."

However he added that it was an "unsophisticated" theft because Rodway was caught on Co-Op CCTV cameras using the bank card while still wearing his uniform.

The culprit, of Tilling Way, Littleport also said he would write a heartfelt letter of apology to the victims.

At the sentencing on Friday, Recorder Malek added: "Meter readers have a high position of trust.

"They go into people's homes and people have to trust that the meter reader will act properly.

"You used that profession of yours and, wearing a uniform, went into the house. That casts suspicion on other people who read meters.


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