Prolific burglar who targeted Suffolk homes is jailed
PUBLISHED: 14:26 19 March 2020 | UPDATED: 16:19 19 March 2020
A prolific night-time burglar who preyed on homes in the Ipswich area and stole more than £24,000 worth of goods has been jailed for three years.
Billy Smith, 31, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to two burglaries at Ipswich Crown Court today and asked for 14 other offences to be taken into consideration (TIC).
The two incidents took place on July 10, 2018, when there was an attempted burglary of a property on Shakespeare Road, Ipswich, and on July 12, 2018, when a home and three garden sheds were broken into on Docking Road in Ringstead, near Hunstanton.
Smith was arrested a few hours later and following police enquiries, he was charged with those two offences.
He also asked for 14 other offences to be taken into consideration.
These consisted of six burglary offences, five burglaries from other buildings such as sheds or garages and one case of a theft from a motor vehicle. These all took place between June 29, 2018, and July 30, 2019 in the Ipswich area, as well as Tuddenham, Elmsett, Boxford, Chelmondiston and Holme-Next-The-Sea in Norfolk.
Around £24,500 worth of items were stolen from the properties and around £850 worth of property was damaged.
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Among the items stolen were a large amount of Stihl garden tools, Bosch power tools, a ride-on mower, a hedge strimmer as well as jewellery and cash.
Operation Converter is an initiative aimed at encouraging offenders to admit their crimes.
Offenders have to give sufficient detail for officers to be sure they have committed the crime and these offences are then ‘taken into consideration’ by a judge at sentencing.
DC Duncan Etcells, from Operation Converter, said: “Smith was a prolific night-time burglar who preyed on residential properties and his actions caused misery, distress and upset for many victims.
“As a team we had to go to great lengths in order to secure this conviction.
“It saw us visit HMP Preston to conduct an initial interview with Smith, then a later visit to HMP Guys Marsh in Dorset to complete the TIC process, as well as further engagement with Smith to get him to identify various locations where the offences took place.
“To see him get convicted is of great satisfaction and a sentence that reflects the overall hard work that was put in to see him behind bars.”