Burglar, 60, convicted of country home raids
SUFFOLK: A 60-year-old Stowmarket man will be sentenced next month after being convicted of 11 burglaries at country homes.
Ian Ling, of Harrier Way, Stowmarket was found guilty after a trial at Ipswich Crown Court.
Ling had been charged with 16 burglaries throughout Suffolk and into Essex between October 2007 and November 2008.
However, he was found not guilty of five of those break-ins – three in Yoxford, one in Knightsdale Road, Ipswich, and another in Haughley.
The court heard he was arrested with another man, Clive Clark, of Tollgate Lane, Bury St Edmunds, when the pair were found in the grounds of Thorington Hall, near Blythburgh, on November 7, 2008.
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Police had been called there after the daughter of the owner saw someone creeping around outside the property.
Officers discovered Ling’s car under a tree. Clark and Ling were detained when they returned to the vehicle.
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A search of the car revealed a bag and various items including a craft knife and glass cutter.
The investigation led police to a lock-up being rented by Ling in Stowmarket Road, Stonham Aspal, where a treasure trove of items were discovered.
The haul included antiques, paintings, jewellery and furniture.
At one stage last year police held open days at Halesworth police station in the hope of tracing the owners and re-uniting them with their property.
Ling, a window fitter, denied the burglaries. However, yesterday the jury at his trial convicted him of break-ins in Coddenham, Earl Soham, Bacton, Thorington, Nettlestead near Claydon, Stratford St Mary, Dedham, Wenhaston, and Little Maplestead near Halstead.
Ling and Clark, 40, were also found guilty of going equipped to steal, although they had denied the charge.
A further offence of possession of criminal property against Ling was left to lay on file.
Ling was remanded in custody until sentencing, while Clark was released on bail.
Their sentencings are due to take place in next month.