Burglar jailed after committing a 3 - month crime spree – St Albans

26/04/2013

Burglar Ben Webb was jailed for 4 and a half years today Friday, 26 April 2013, after committing a 3-month crime spree to feed his gambling addiction.

Webb, along with others broke into homes in Hertfordshire, Essex, Suffolk, and London, stealing goods and cash worth a total of £136,366.

Only £3,250 was recovered from the burglaries that took place between October and December last year, St Albans Crown Court heard.

Beverly Cripps, prosecuting for Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service(CPS) said , Webb, 31, and another man broke into a house in Maze Green Road, Bishop's Stotford on 18 October and stole a £999 laptop.

A 17-year-old boy returned to the house and noticed a silver hatchback car parked outside which sounded its horn. A rear patio door had been smashed and the teenager saw two people running out of the back garden, making their escape. A friend noted the car's registration number and  called the police. Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) picked the car up in Essex.

Tracker dogs were used and discarded socks and gloves were found, along with the laptop. DNA tests were carried out and a match was found with Webb.

When police raided his home they found another laptop, a tablet, eight rings and bank cards, valued in all at £2945. They had been stolen in a burglary on 31 December last year. Webb admitted receiving them.

He also admitted taking £70 from a house in Rodney Way, Romford on 13 November.

Webb of Birkdale Avenue, Romford, pleaded guilty to two counts of burglary and one of receiving stolen goods. He asked for 64 burglaries and 3 attempted burglaries to be taken into consideration. He had 23 convictions for 57 previous offences; none of them were domestic burglaries.

He was in breach of a 24 month Community Order passed in March this year for two non-house burglaries.

Defence barrister Katrina Jamieson said that at the time Webb had been "addicted to gambling" and had lost his job as a landscape gardener.

She said he bitterly regretted what he had done, which was his first house burglary convictions, and had assisted the police in clearing up the crimes.He was anxious to get back to work and support his family, she said.

In sentencing him Judge Stephen Gullick said he gave him credit for "wiping the slate clean and assisting the police."

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