Thief returns to jail after leaving forensic clues at scene of BMW break-in

South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court, in Ipswich. Picture: ARCHANT

South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court, in Ipswich. Picture: ARCHANT

An absent-minded thief was captured after leaving a vital clue to his identity at the scene of a crime in Ipswich.

Michael Taylor used the cover of darkness to break into a locked BMW and steal a Sony Ericsson phone on February 9 – leaving behind a small torch, which police forensically linked back to the 37-year-old.

Taylor was sent to jail for breaching a community order while under post-sentence supervision for a previous prison spell in March – but he soon returned to crime, smashing into another parked car and stealing a handbag containing £200 in cash, prescription sunglasses worth £250 and hairdressing kit.

The victim’s own local enquiries linked the theft to Taylor, who admitted both thefts on Tuesday at South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court, in Ipswich.

Prosecutor Wayne Ablett said the handbag – also containing credit cards and driving licence – had yet to be recovered.

He said Taylor, of Packard Avenue, had 15 convictions to his name for 47 offences dating back to 1995, including burglary and theft in 2015 – for which he was sentenced to two years in jail.

He was made subject to a community order with a rehabilitation requirement for three thefts from vehicles last year – but breached the order and was sent to prison for eight days on March 21.

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Taylor was still under post-sentence supervision at the time of his latest two thefts and tested positive for class A drugs when arrested.

Solicitor Michael Stephenson said Taylor’s was a classic case of being released from prison and struggling to resolve issues with benefit payments.

“He effectively has no money, so you can start to see why these impulse thefts happen,” added Mr Stephenson, who asked magistrates to allow Taylor to pay for his crimes under supervision in the community.

But the probation service said Taylor had shown no evidence of willing to address his drug use, which continued to have an impact on the public.

Magistrates said they had no alternative but to send Taylor back to prison.

He was given credit for his guilty pleas and handed two concurrent 12-week sentences.

He was also ordered to pay £95 in compensation for smashing the window of the BMW and £320 for the unrecovered stolen items.

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