Burglar who stole stuffed animals given suspended prison sentence


A burglar who stole stuffed animals from a taxidermist has been given a suspended prison sentence.

Jason Hopwood, 47, broke into the warehouse near Wimbledon stadium on March 1 2016, and stole the animals, which are used as film props and are worth around £100,000.

He stacked them in his Luton van, which was caught on CCTV and later found abandoned with the stolen props, gloves, bolt-cutters, a crowbar and a hammer inside.

Back of van

He was sentenced yesterday [4 April] to a 21 month prison sentence suspended for two years, and 200 hours community service, by Kingston Crown Court.

London CPS reviewing lawyer Mike Reay said: "Jason Hopwood pleaded guilty to this burglary after a strong case was prepared against him.

"Although Hopwood initially claimed to police he had sold his van on the day of the break-in the evidence gathered by the police showed otherwise.

"The prosecution evidence which led to his early guilty pleas involved tracing Hopwood’s mobile phone in Wimbledon, a parking ticket issued on the day of the theft, and DNA in the van."

Hopwood also pleaded guilty to a forgery charge involving using fake number plates.

Jason Hopwood [07/11/1969] pleaded guilty to burglary and forgery at a hearing on 21 December 2016.