Prisoner hunt ends - five days after he gave himself up

Mark Rhodes
Image caption Mark Rhodes handed himself in at a police station in Norwich

Police halted a search for a prolific distraction burglar who absconded from a Kent prison after it emerged that he had already handed himself in.

Mark Rhodes, 26, of no fixed abode, was last seen at HMP Standford Hill, in Sheerness, on 18 September.

He was serving a five year sentence for fraud and distraction burglary.

Gloucestershire Police appealed for information about his whereabouts on Thursday, five days after he gave himself up to officers in Norwich.

At Thetford Magistrates' Court on Monday, Rhodes was sentenced to eight weeks in prison for being unlawfully at large.

The sentence is to run consecutively with his five year term.

A spokesman for Kent Police said: "We have now been advised by Gloucestershire Police that Mark Rhodes actually handed himself in on September 25.

Crimewatch appeal

"We apologise for any inconvenience caused by our issuing the earlier wanted appeal which we only received from Gloucestershire Police yesterday and from Acpo [Association of Chief Police Officers] press office this morning."

Rhodes was originally arrested in Ipswich in May 2009 after his picture appeared on the BBC's Crimewatch programme.

The offences took place in 18 police force areas, and were mainly committed over a four month period during 2009.

The force areas where the offences took place are Avon and Somerset, Cambridgeshire, Devon and Cornwall, Dorset, Derbyshire, Humberside, Gloucestershire, Lancashire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Norfolk, North Yorkshire, Northumbria, Staffordshire, Suffolk, Cheshire, Thames Valley and West Mercia.

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