Teen broke into 22 cars in one night

A TEENAGER broke into 22 cars in a one-night crime spree but was caught sleeping in a car full of stolen goods close by, a court heard yesterday.Louis Thompson, 18, pleaded guilty to five counts of theft and asked for the 17 further offences to be taken into consideration before Bury St Edmunds magistrates.

A TEENAGER broke into 22 cars in a one-night crime spree but was caught sleeping in a car full of stolen goods close by, a court heard yesterday.

Louis Thompson, 18, pleaded guilty to five counts of theft and asked for the 17 further offences to be taken into consideration before Bury St Edmunds magistrates. He also pleaded guilty to a theft in Peterborough. He was handed an eight-week custodial sentence suspended for 18 months.

All 22 cars were parked on the Studlands Estate in Newmarket, where Thompson and another man, who has already been dealt with, were found sleeping in the car by police.

Ian Devine, prosecuting, said Thompson, formerly of Wesleyan Road, Peterborough and the other man were taken to Newmarket police station for questioning after the officers noticed stolen radios.


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“As people woke up to find their cars broken into they called the police,” he said. “The police spotted a number of items in the back of the car and arrested them on suspicion of theft.

“(At the station) both gave similar accounts. Mr Thompson said he had been asleep and the items had 'miraculously' appeared when he woke up. They were then sent back to the cells to reconsider their accounts.”

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Mr Devine said the pair blamed a third man before conceding they had used stones as “quick and effective” ways of smashing the windows of cars open and helping themselves to the contents.

Jenny Carpenter, for Thompson, said her client's problems had begun when he was in a bail hostel in Peterborough and he started mixing with an older crowd of rehabilitating criminals.

She said he was now in regular employment as a window cleaner and was trying to join the army and had already undertaken a military physical and drugs test.

She said he was not going to return to Newmarket because he associated it with his offending and was now trying to turn over a new leaf in Peterborough.

“The prospect of jail fills him with dread,” she said “He has used his time positively and effectively.”

Magistrate panel chairman Graham Higgins, sentencing Thompson, said: “With the seriousness of the offence only a custodial sentence will do. The sentence is intended to be a punishment.”

Thompson was given an eight-week sentence suspended for 18 months and required to fulfil a number of requirements.

He must sleep and reside at an address specified by the probation service and complete 60 hours of unpaid work. Thompson was also ordered to pay costs of £100.

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