Judge bans thief from council district
By Liz HearnshawA COMMUNITY terrorised by a career criminal who stole from up to 30 cars a night to support his heroin addiction has welcomed a ruling banning him indefinitely from entering a council district.
By Liz Hearnshaw
A COMMUNITY terrorised by a career criminal who stole from up to 30 cars a night to support his heroin addiction has welcomed a ruling banning him indefinitely from entering a council district.
Police said Anthony Vittles, who was jailed for almost four years on Thursday, was a “prolific offender” and they welcomed the decision to bar him from the entire Forest Heath district until further notice.
Vittles, 30, of Peterhouse Close, Mildenhall, targeted cars belonging to USAF personnel and boasted to detectives he would steal from between 10 and 30 vehicles per night.
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Ipswich Crown Court was told Vittles, whose heroin habit cost him £900 a day, specifically targeted American cars because he felt their owners were less security conscious.
As well as jailing Vittles, Mr Justice Roger Bell granted an application from Suffolk police and Forest Heath District Council to make him the subject of an anti-social behaviour order (ASBO).
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If Vittles - who pleaded guilty to theft and driving while disqualified, and asked for a further 15 offences to be considered - breaches the ruling after he is released from prison, he could face a five-year sentence.
Welcoming the judge's decision, Inspector Adrian Dawson, sector commander for Mildenhall and Brandon, described Vittles as a “habitual criminal” who would not be tolerated.
“Anthony Vittles is a prolific offender who has now been taken out of the community for a significant period of time,” he said.
“This is a good result for the community as Vittles was responsible for a significant proportion of crime in the area.”
Insp Dawson added: “This is an unprecedented judgment and other criminals should take note that the police and Forest Heath District Council, on behalf of the community, will not tolerate habitual criminals living and committing crime in this community.
“We will take positive steps to obtain ASBOs where there are sufficient grounds.”
A spokesman for Forest Heath District Council said it was pleased the judge had decided to make Vittles subject to an ASBO.
“We are also quite surprised as we believe this to be the first such order in the country which has seen someone banned from a whole district,” he added.
“We hope this will result in a safer community for the many people who have been a victim of the sorts of crimes this gentleman committed.”
The ASBO was the second brought within the Forest Heath district during the past 10 months.
A 15-year-old boy from Brandon became the subject of such an order in January after admitting a string of burglaries, thefts and hoax calls to the emergency services.
Among the conditions of the ASBO, the boy was placed under curfew and banned from entering shops or harassing police.