Burglar jailed after £13k raid of Ipswich convenience store

Ipswich Crown Court Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Daniel Ruel was jailed for 26 months after stealing more than £13,000 from the store. - Credit: Archant

A burglar who stole a safe and goods worth more than £13,000 during a break-in at an Ipswich store has been jailed for 26 months.

Sentencing 31-year-old Daniel Ruel, Judge Martyn Levett said corner shops provided a significant local service, especially during the pandemic.

“These smaller shops provide a lifeline to many rural or suburban householders and are especially important to elderly consumers,” said the judge.

He said corner shops were frequently targeted by burglars, robbers and shoplifters and trade magazines and the Association of Convenience Stores constantly called for a need of greater protection for them.

Judge Levett said the owner of the Penalty 2 convenience store at Ellenbrook Green had not been able to afford insurance and was left with debts of more than £22,000 following the raid.

Ruel, of Springham Drive, Colchester, admitted burglary at the store on January 12 last year during which a safe, a till drawer, £100 cash, alcohol, cigarettes, tobacco and a laptop computer were stolen.

He also admitted damaging a police cell.

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Nicola May, prosecuting, said that shortly before the burglary the shop had received a bulk delivery of cigarettes which were stolen along with 88 lighters and tobacco.

During the burglary a shutter at the rear of the premises was ripped off its frame and the intruders had spent nearly two hours collecting and removing goods, said Nicola May, prosecuting.

The burglars had been wearing jackets and hoods but police were able to identify Ruel as one of the burglars after officers recognised him from CCTV footage in a stock room.

Miss May said the shop had been fitted with shutters over the back door and the front window and there had also been an alarm and CCTV cameras.

Richard Kelly for Ruel said his client had been smoking drugs in a car with other men when the decision was made to commit the burglary.

He said Ruel had mental health issues and was the full time carer for his partner who has a serious kidney complaint.

He said she would find it difficult to cope with their children while she was in hospital having dialysis without Ruel’s help.

A hearing under the Proceeds of Crime Act will take place later this year.

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