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Tool thief from Burwell sentenced for string of van break-ins across west Suffolk

A 19 year old from Burwell has been sentenced
A 19 year old from Burwell has been sentenced

A 19-year-old tool thief has been sentenced following a string of van break-ins.

Joseph Cousins of Burling Way, Burwell, was convicted yesterday at Ipswich Magistrates' Court and given a sentence of 18 weeks, suspended for 12 months.

On December 14 he was charged with burglary at a property of Billberry Close, Red Lodge, where several drills, saws, a socket set and a pressure washer were stolen; theft from a motor vehicle from a property on Juniper Road, Red Lodge, where a pair of sunglasses were stolen and a second theft from motor vehicle from a car parked in Harebell Road in Red Lodge where a Dell laptop and sat nav were stolen.

He also admitted responsibility for a further 32 incidents that took place across the west of the county between September 13 and 19, including four incidents of interference with motor vehicles and 28 incidents of thefts from motor vehicles. These crimes amounted to over £4,700 worth of goods being stolen.

These incidents took place at locations in Red Lodge, Feltwell and Weeting. In one incident, a Vauxhall Astra van around £2,000 worth of power tools was stolen, while in another incident £450 worth of sunglasses, sportswear and footwear was stolen from a vehicle.

DC Duncan Etchells from the Op Converter team said: "Cousins is a determined individual whose prolific criminality caused his victims great distress. Burglary and theft from vehicles is a clear invasion of people’s homes and vehicles and can be very upsetting and distressing for the victims.”

Operation Converter is an initiative aimed at encouraging offenders to admit their crimes.

This has benefits for all – police are able to give victims some peace of mind that an offender has been caught for the burglary of their home or the theft of their property and the individual has the opportunity to clear their slate so they can have a fresh start when they are released from prison, without the possibility they will later be traced for a further offence.

Offenders have to give sufficient detail for officers to be sure they have committed the crime and these offences are then ‘taken into consideration’ at sentencing. The judge will look at all the offences before determining the sentence.