Sproughton: Have-a-go neighbours collar cross-dressing lingerie thief
SPROUGHTON: A cross-dressing burglar who stole women’s clothing and lingerie while wearing pink knickers and a white bra is today serving a prison term.
Daniel Stacey, 28, claimed he entered a house because he wanted a drink of water.
But while inside, he took an interest in some women’s clothing and “temptation got the better of him”, a court heard.
He attempted to make off with two rucksacks full of ladies’ attire, but was apprehended by neighbours who noticed him acting suspiciously.
Police were called to the scene in Burstall Hill, Burstall, on the evening of May 8.
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It is understood that at the time of his arrest, Stacey was wearing a pair of pink knickers, one pink sock, a white bra and black tights together with a pink ladies top and a black skirt.
Stacey, of Sproughton Court, Sproughton, near Ipswich, admitted burglary and possession of cannabis at South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday. He had been on licence for previous offences of threats to kill, the court heard.
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Mark Holt, representing Stacey, said his client had been out walking between Sproughton and Hadleigh when he became thirsty and entered an unoccupied property.
The owners were living in America and the home is understood to have been undergoing renovation works.
Mr Holt said: “Stacey became thirsty and began looking around for water.
“He saw that the home was unoccupied and looked around. At that point, he saw some items which he took a liking to. Temptation got the better of him.
“He said that he was remorseful about it and gave a full admission when questioned by police.”
Wayne Ablett, prosecuting, said neighbours followed Stacey, who tried to run away after realising he was being watched.
Mr Ablett said: “A neighbour noticed him first. She called on other neighbours to help.
“Eventually they detained him. They contacted police and he was arrested.”
Sentencing Stacey, chairman of the magistrates, John Illett, said it was a “serious offence” because he had been on licence following two convictions of threats to kill previously dealt with at Ipswich Crown Court.
Stacey has been recalled to prison for breach of his licence and is now due for release in March 2012.
He was also sentenced to eight weeks for the burglary and a week for the possession of cannabis, which will run concurrently.
The value of the items taken totalled around �50 and all the garments were recovered.
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SUFFOLK: The villagers who helped apprehend Daniel Stacey today told how he was pinned down in a field by a farmer until police arrived.
The burglary – believed to be the first crime committed in Burstall Hill for a quarter of a century – has left the tiny community stunned.
The saga began when farmer Nick Mrozek spotted Stacey acting suspiciously in the village, which contains just a handful of houses.
He alerted neighbours Paul and Nadia Eustace, who called police as Stacey ran off.
Mrs Eustace, 40, said: “While I was talking to the police on my mobile, he (Stacey) came out of the house.
“He didn’t look like your typical criminal – he was clean shaven with a nice side parting – but he was carrying two rucksacks in his hands.
“I asked him what he was doing and he said nothing.
“But before I knew it he had pegged it down the driveway.
“Nick gave chase across a couple of fields and managed to grab hold of him. He pinned him down until the police arrived.
“The police sent out three cars, a dog unit and a helicopter. They were on the scene within ten minutes and did a great job.”
Mr Eustace, 51, added: “I have lived in the village for 24 years and this is the first crime there’s ever been in that time.
“The village is so isolated – it’s not the kind of place where people go out of their way to go to – so that makes it all the more strange.
“The whole thing happened so quickly – you don’t stop to think what could happen – but fortunately Nick managed to catch him.”