Burglar behind more than 100 crimes in Ipswich is jailed
PUBLISHED: 18:23 10 May 2019 | UPDATED: 18:23 10 May 2019
Prolific burglar Darren Grimwood has been jailed for more than two years after admitting more than 100 break-ins and attempted break-ins around Ipswich.
Police estimate Grimwood stole goods worth £13,600 in a seven month crime spree that saw him target one elderly victim four times plus two schools.
He was finally caught and charged with five counts of burglary - and admitted 109 other offences under the police's Operation Converter, aimed at encouraging offenders to admit their crimes.
Grimwood, 32, of Bishops Hill, Ipswich, received 28 months at Ipswich Crown Court on Friday May 10 after pleading guilty at an earlier hearing.
Detective Constable Duncan Etchells of Suffolk Constabulary said: "Grimwood was a habitual and prolific offender whose actions caused great misery and distress for his victims, mainly in the Holywells area of Ipswich.
"Not only did these people suffer the shock of finding their premises ransacked and damaged but they also had to arrange for replacement items to be bought.
"To see Grimwood put away for 28 months will hopefully give his victims some source of comfort."
Grimwood was first arrested and charged on December 23 last year for three burglaries between September 28 and October 12 that year.
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Then in April this year he was also charged with two additional burglaries in Ipswich.
Between his arrest and his sentencing, Grimwood chose to work with officers from Operation Converter team and went on to admit 109 other offences.
They included 106 burglaries or attempted burglaries, mainly from garden sheds and garages, plus two thefts and one incident of criminal damage to a motor vehicle.
The burglary offences took place between 10 July 2018 and 19 February 2019.
These were mainly garden sheds but also included two school burglaries, one at Heath Primary School on Bell Lane in Kesgrave, and the other at Kesgrave High School in Main Road, Kesgrave.
It is estimated he stole over £13,600 worth of goods, causing more than £1,000 worth of damage.
The vast majority of items stolen were power tools, but he also took electrical goods, frozen food and pedal cycles.
In one burglary power tools worth around £900 were stolen on 14 December 2018 from a premises on Dereham Road, and £440 worth of power tools were stolen on 28 December from another property on Dereham Road.
Additionally, a £4,000 bike was stolen from a property on Essex Way on October 5 2018.
He returned to one address in Felixstowe Road on four occasions but the local community including neighbours, the local PCSO Emma Billett and Sainsbury's rallied round the elderly victim and ensured she received a food hamper and crime prevention advice.