Burglar raided Ipswich businesses

A BURGLAR who targeted an Ipswich solicitors as well as stealing from shops and his own relative is behind bars today.

A BURGLAR who targeted an Ipswich solicitors as well as stealing from shops and his own relative is behind bars today.

Robert Lovett, 29, of Chesapeake Road in Ipswich, was part of a plot to steal jewellery and cash worth around £19,000 from Birketts law firm in Museum Street.

The criminal also took a digital photo frame from his half-sister, two video games from Sainsbury's, perfume and aftershave worth £226 from Debenhams, and four Playstation games from Tesco.

Now Lovett, a drug addict, is starting a four-and-a-half year jail term after pleading guilty to all the offences.

Sentencing Lovett at Ipswich Crown Court, Judge John Holt said: “The four thefts in the context of the burglary were relatively minor but still of significance.

“The aggravating feature of the shoplifting from Debenhams and Tesco is that you were already on bail, and you were already on bail when you committed the burglary which took your offending into another league.”

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Judge Holt described how Lovett and other criminals had broken into Birketts before targeting a safe with tools, getting through the safe's seven-inch metal door, and taking cash and jewellery from inside.

The gang then let off a fire extinguisher in an effort to destroy evidence.

Lovett was caught because of forensic evidence left on a latex glove in the solicitors, but none of the others criminals involved with the burglary have been brought to justice.

Charles Myatt, mitigating, said Lovett had not been the main culprit of the high-value heist.

He said: “Mr Lovett was not the mastermind behind this burglary. This was an opportunistic burglary led by another, using Mr Lovett to help him gain entry to the premises and then calling others.

“His offending has been motivated by his addiction to drugs.”

Judge Holt sentenced Lovett to one month in prison for the theft from his half-sister, three months for the Sainsbury's theft, four months each for the thefts from Debenhams and Tesco, and three-and-a-half-years for the burglary, all to run consecutively.