Burglar jailed after spate of raids at Staffordshire University flats
A BURGLAR who repeatedly targeted student accommodation has been jailed for three years.
Robert Sims was snared by a police operation after a spate of break-ins at the Staffordshire University complex.
The 20-year-old forced a window of a ground floor room, which had been left slightly ajar, and then carried out a search. But he was caught on camera and was immediately recognised by officers, Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court heard yesterday.
Sims admitted that break-in on January 15 and asked for three other similar matters at the Stoke campus to be taken into consideration. He stole a laptop from the first in November, a laptop and cash from the second in December and car keys which he used to take a car last month.
60cm electric double oven
ONLY 459.90 and thats delivered Fast & free rom our vast warehouse stocks
Why not visit our Longton cooker centre for a look
The best deal is on your doorstep - only condition is you have to be prepaired to shop locally, supporting a local firm and live within 25 miles of one of our branches
How good is that?
Contact: 01782 342609
Valid until: Sunday, June 02 2013
Sims also admitted handling stolen goods on December 16.
Prosecutor Heather Chamberlin said a couple staying at the Moat House Hotel on Festival Park returned to their room to see a man disappear out of the window.
They discovered cash and jewellery had been stolen. The couple, who work in the jewellery trade, valued the items at £8,500.
Sims pawned the goods at Hanley pawnbrokers the next day, giving his own details and using a copy of his passport.
But the victim visited jewellers giving them a description of the missing items. She also gave police a description and the goods were recovered.
Catherine O'Reilly, representing Sims, of Blakelow Road, Abbey Hulton, conceded his record, which includes nine previous convictions for burglary, makes bleak reading.
She said the defendant was put under pressure to commit offences by a family who believed he had stolen a generator.
"They came to the conclusion it was him and put pressure on him to repay the value of that item, £1,000. They put pressure on him to go out and steal. The burglaries and handling were part of that, to repay the debt."
Miss O'Reilly added that Sims has a drug problem and before his remand in custody smoked cannabis daily and was also addicted to M-Cat.
Jailing Sims for three years, Recorder Rachel Brand QC said: "You are only 20 but you have a dreadful record of previous convictions including a number for burglary.
"You seem to think by targeting the university you are not breaking into people's dwellings, but you are, they are temporary dwellings but they are dwellings nonetheless."