Mechanic jailed for conspiracy to commit Paddock wood burglary
PUBLISHED: 14:46 01 December 2014 | UPDATED: 14:46 01 December 2014
Police say they are ‘delighted’ to see offender behind bars
A 27 year old mechanic has been jailed for conspiring to commit burglaries in Paddock Wood and Longfield.
Last October Stephen Baker, from Springfield Road in Erith, was requested by the manager of a garage to carry out some repair work on a Vauxhall Astra. He took the vehicle home but rather than return it to the garage, instead he used it to commit crime.
On November 25 , Baker pleaded guilty to two charges of conspiracy to commit burglary at Maidstone Crown Court. He was sentenced to three and a half years.
Detective constable James Crouch from the Kent and Essex serious crime directorate said: “Baker had been due to stand trial but pleaded guilty at the last minute in recognition of the overwhelming evidence against him.
“Burglary remains one of Kent Police’s top priorities, so we’re delighted to see another offender behind bars.”
On the evening of October 30, 2013, an Audi S4 with a laptop inside was stolen from outside a house in The Greenways, Paddock Wood.
The front door of the house had been damaged to enable burglars to break in and steal the car key.
The same night, at 3am on October 31 CCTV captured intruders breaking into the Co-Op store in Station Road, Longfield. They stole £7,000 worth of cigarettes.
DC Crouch continued: “At 3:24am we received a call from a member of the public, reporting people acting suspiciously while unloading items from a car outside a house in St Mary’s Road, Swanley. The Vauxhall Astra was also parked outside.
“When officers searched the house in St Mary’s Road, we also found clothing which appeared to match the clothing worn by the cigarette thieves caught on CCTV. We also found the stolen laptop hidden in the back garden, and the stolen Audi was located less than a mile away.
“Baker had no legitimate reason to be driving the Astra, other than to take it from the garage to his home in Erith for repairs, yet automatic number plate recognition cameras showed the car in convoy behind the stolen Audi, near Sevenoaks at 2am on October 31.”
The stolen Audi and the laptop have been returned to their rightful owner in Paddock Wood.
The Vauxhall Astra has been returned to its rightful owner in London.