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Career thief hit sports clubs in two-year spree

A THIEF stole £177,000 of valuables by blagging his way into gyms and golf clubs.

Christopher Hanley (pictured), 44, of Coventry, used a false name or strolled past reception desks to break into changing-room lockers.

The career criminal stole cash, wallets, designer watches and car keys — even driving off with a car once he had located it.

He was finally caught when police followed a tracking device in a Range Rover he had stolen.

Warwick crown court heard that, over two years, Hanley struck in the Midlands, Worcester, Oxfordshire and the south of England.

He was found guilty of 14 charges including theft, fraud and attempted burglary.

His accomplice, Justin Poyner, 47, of Coventry — who drove him to the clubs — was also convicted of theft and fraud and has been remanded in custody before sentencing.

Jailing Hanley for five-and-a-half years, recorder Martin Butterworth said he had become an ‘efficient’ and ‘practised’ criminal but had been convicted in the light of ‘overwhelmingly strong evidence’.