A DUDLEY burglar who raided a string of homes in a four week crime spree because it gave him a "buzz of excitement" has been put behind bars for 40 months.

Stuart Salt carried out the majority of the break-ins in which a large amount of property of great sentimental value was taken with Robert Smith who was jailed for 44 months.

Judge Nicholas Smith said they were men with "bad" criminal records and the houses they raided had clearly been targeted as they drove around in a stolen van to carry away the property their stolen goods.

They took a computer from one Dudley home containing over 2,000 irreplaceable photographs of the families children while from another they got away with the owner's wedding ring and a treasured watch he had been bought by his wife.

The Judge said 31-year-old Salt had shown in the past he was capable of obtaining work but, after losing his last job because of an accident, he was faced with "economic difficulties" and he had trouble picking up benefits.

"You then resorted to crime because you told probation you felt a buzz of excitement," added the Judge, while he said Smith was a drug user and he needed money to pay his suppliers.

Salt of Overbrook Close, Dudley and Smith, 29, of Bilston Street, Wolverhampton, both admitted two charges of raiding houses in Haveacre Lane and Coppice Road, Dudley.

Salt further admitted handling stolen property and using the van without a licence or insurance and he asked for seven other burglaries to be taken into consideration involving the theft of £7,350 worth of property.

Smith also asked for a total of 12 other offences to be taken into consideration by the Judge involving the taking of property valued at £37,100 - including the theft of two cars worth £25,000.

Warren Stanier, prosecuting, said Salt and Smith got into the Haveacre Lane property through a kitchen window and they took electrical items valued at £1,500 but they were captured on the homes CCTV system.

When they raided the house in Coppice Road they were again caught on CCTV and when all the footage was viewed by investigating police officers they were immediately recognised and arrested.