A SERIAL burglar who has broken into around 150 homes has been put back behind bars for another four years.

Steven Ives, aged 34, committed his latest break-in at a house near Worcester just two days after being released from prison for two previous burglaries.

Worcester Crown Court heard yesterday that during the earlier hearing, he asked for 43 similar offences to be taken into consideration – and three years before that, while being sentenced for two more burglaries, he had asked for about 100 other burglaries to be taken into account.

The court heard that he and his partner-in-crime, Derek Davies, smashed their way into a house in The Heath, in Holt Heath, near Worcester, between 7pm and 8pm on October 18 while the owners were out.

They stole an Xbox games console, two laptops and a set of car keys – which Ives then used to steal the family’s Volkswagen Passat.

Judge Robert Juckes QC told them both it was a “very serious” offence.

“What the occupants came back to was their house broken into, their car stolen and valuable property taken,” he said.

“As you both will have heard over and over again, the reason the courts always pass immediate and long custodial sentences for this type of offence is because of the destruction of security that people suffer when their houses are broken into in this way.

“That is the most serious aspect of a burglary.”

He said it was by “good fortune and good police work” that officers had spotted Davies’ car driving in convoy with the stolen Passat, and using number plate recognition software, managed to track them down the next day.

They found almost all of the stolen items at Davies’ house, while the car was found around a month later in Walsall.

Defending Ives, William Harrington said he had become “institutionalised” in prison, but had now started to make steps to change his behaviour for the better.

He said Ives had been released from prison on October 16 but was put in a bedsit with no lock and no support, which was why he had committed the burglary with Davies, who was a former acquaintance.

For Davies, Nicholas Berry said the father-of-three had been battling his drug addiction for a long time - and pointed out this was his first house burglary.

Ives, of no fixed address, admitted charges of burglary and theft.

He was given four years in prison for the burglary, plus three years for theft, to be served concurrently, as well as ordered to pay a £120 victim surcharge.

Meanwhile Davies, aged 43, of Tottenham Crescent, Kingstanding, Birmingham, admitted charges of burglary and of handling stolen goods.

He was given 20 months in prison for the burglary and 12 months for handling, also to be served concurrently, and was ordered to pay a £100 victim surcharge.

He pleaded not guilty to theft, which was accepted.