Lollipop proves crook's downfall

A SWEET-toothed drug addict who broke into a business and stole equipment and a £7,000 car was caught after he left behind a lollipop stick with his DNA on it.

A SWEET-toothed drug addict who broke into a business and stole equipment and a £7,000 car was caught after he left behind a lollipop stick with his DNA on it.

Forensic tests linked career criminal Mark Lewis to the break-in at CMS Reefer Services in Hauliers Road, Felixstowe, after he dropped the lollipop stick on to the floor of a portable cabin which he broke into.

The 33-year-old from Dinsdale Court, Felixstowe, pleaded guilty to stealing £800 worth of equipment from the business between June 23 and June 24 and to another charge of stealing a blue Peugeot from the company's yard when he appeared at South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court yesterday.

Lewis, a heroin addict, also admitted the latest offences put him in breach of a conditional discharge which had been imposed on June 18 for a similar crime.

Stephen Colman, prosecuting, told the court that staff discovered the break-in at about 1am on June 24. They found the front gates of the premises had been forced open and a window in the cabin smashed.

Among the items taken were two flat screen computer monitors, a digital camera, a computer hard-drive and computer leads.

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After breaking into the portable cabin Lewis found the keys to a Ford van and the Peugeot inside. He used the van to smash through the compound gates before escaping in the leased Peugeot.

But his crucial mistake was in leaving behind the lollipop stick which he had discarded on the floor of the cabin.

The DNA match led to Lewis' arrest on Sunday. A subsequent search of his house failed to find any of the stolen goods but police did recover a train ticket from June 25 which showed Lewis had travelled between Attleborough and Thetford in Norfolk.

Fuel card records showed the Peugeot had been filled up at a fuel station in Attleborough on June 24.

Mr Colman told the court the Peugeot had not been recovered and the total cost of the theft and damage amounted to £11,450.

Roger Stewart, mitigating, said Lewis' drug addiction had led him to commit the break-in.

He added: “He was also under pressure because he had just lost his sister who died very recently. They were very close.”

Lewis was remanded in custody after the magistrates opted to send his case to Ipswich Crown Court for sentencing.

For the breach of his conditional discharge, he was fined £50 but the fine was waived because of the time he had already spent in custody.

What do you think of this case? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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