March 16 2014 Latest news:
Jane Hunt and Colin Adwent
Monday, December 16, 2013
Burglar Joshua Smith thought he had outsmarted police by covering his feet and hands to avoid leaving forensic traces during a break-in.
However, the 21-year-old is behind bars today after failing to take into account the hi-tech CCTV security system which captured him roaming around an Ipswich home looking for items to steal.
After the entire burglary was caught on camera a police officer recognised the serial offender when viewing the footage.
Smith entered the property in Henley Road, Ipswich, through an unsecured conservatory window, Ipswich Crown Court was told.
Jay Moore the owner of the property discovered the break-in when he returned home on September 5.
The police officer who looked at the CCTV recognised Smith from his previous dealings with him, said Michael Crimp, prosecuting.
He said that during the burglary Smith covered his footwear and his hands to avoid leaving any marks and among the items stolen were a games station, cash, perfume and a mobile phone.
Smith, of Anglesea Road, Ipswich admitted burglary and asked for two burglaries and three offences of theft to be considered.
Jailing him for 32 months Judge Rupert Overbury said he had an “appalling criminal record”. “You were caught because you were caught red-handed on CCTV and you were identified by a policeman who knew you,” said the judge.
Craig Marchant for Smith said a tidy search had been made of the property and no-one had been at home when the burglary took place.
He said Smith had tried to stay out of trouble but had returned to his old ways when he had no money.
After Smith’s sentencing homeowner Mr Moore said: “The CCTV which Anglian Security installed for me was brilliant.
“It shows him walking past the property then returning before coming through the conservatory, going into the kitchen and opening the back door. He starts picking things up and filling his bag. He goes upstairs in and out of bedrooms.
“He is seen opening mail and checking the windows to see if anyone was going to disturb him. He then just goes walking up the drive and away.”
Smith left cupboards and doors open, and the opened mail on the floor.
Mr Moore arrived home 10 minutes later, and was alerted to the burglary by one of his two female lodgers.
He said: “One of the girls had come home and said to me ‘I don’t know what’s going on but I think we have been burgled’.
“It’s a horrible feeling actually watching someone burgle your home. It’s a feeling of violation.
“The girls living in the house were very nervous after the burglary. One of the girls wasn’t sleeping properly. Even when they were in the house they would lock the door.
“It hit them a lot harder than it hit me and one has moved out.”