* Photos by Simon Jones
caged: Charles Ratteray, 44, left, and Neville Woods, 41, were jailed for four years and eight years respectively. Both are career criminals with long lists of previous convictions for burglary.
* Photos by Simon Jones caged: Charles Ratteray, 44, left, and Neville Woods, 41, were jailed for four years and eight years respectively. Both are career criminals with long lists of previous convictions for burglary.
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Two serial burglars who raided homes across Bermuda for years were jailed for a total of 12 years yesterday.

Neville Woods, 41, and Charles Ratteray, 44, left a trail of debt and despair for victims.

But today residents can sleep easier knowing these prolific offenders will be behind bars for a long time.

Woods was caged for eight years at Supreme Court, while Ratteray was jailed for four at Magistrates' Court.

Both have a long list of previous convictions for burglary and theft. Woods was caught red-handed as he walked down the street in St. David's with a sack of stolen jewellery and other goods.

When police confronted him, the career criminal fled and jumped in the sea.

He let the stolen items sink to the bottom of the ocean, left his knapsack on a boat then tried to hide behind a vessel in Pirate's Dock.

But the police caught him and recovered the bag plus the stolen items.

He was initially suspected of committing two burglaries, during which the jewellery and other items were stolen.

But yesterday, halfway through his trial, he pleaded guilty to two counts of handling stolen goods.

Sentencing Woods, of Tommy Fox Road, St. David's, to eight years in prison, Puisne Judge Carlisle Greaves branded him a "professional and dangerous thief".

Deceive

He added: "With your red sack slung over your back like a bounty you looked like some kind of Ali Baba.

"You had a dog on a leash like the Prince of Bel Air - and it was all designed to deceive.

"You have a record for thieving in many ways - you have much more than a dozen break-ins, numerous thefts, armed robbery and a lot more.

"Your actions and record clearly demonstrate that whenever you are free, the people's property shall be in jeopardy."

The court was told Woods' criminal record stretched back to 1985.

In October 2004, he was jailed for a year for two break-ins and one attempted burglary.

In March 2007, he was given a 30-month sentence for burglary.

Less than two years later he was jailed for nine months for receiving stolen goods.

Woods was freed in ­January 2009 and was back to his old tricks handling stolen goods just four months later.

Ratteray broke into a home in Sandys and stole jewellery and cash worth $800.

Crucifix

The resident returned home at 12pm on October 1 and interrupted him rummaging through her possessions.

He fled but she later picked him out of an identity parade.

Ratteray of Middle Road, Sandys, stole an engagement ring, gold chains, a gold ring and a crucifix pendant. Senior Magistrate Archibald Warner said: "You should not have been released from your ­previous sentence when you were.

"Every time you are allowed out of prison you come out and do the same thing again.

"I must consider the protection of society.

"There is no other way to deal with you other than a substantial prison sentence."

The court heard Ratteray had convictions for burglary in 2001, 2003 and 2006.

He said he committed crimes to feed his drug addiction and that he was sorry for his actions.