Leamington man jailed for his part in Cubbington shed thefts
A MAN who provided a regular outlet for tools stolen during break-ins of allotment sheds and garages has been jailed for 22 months by a judge at Warwick Crown Court.
Timothy Harrington, 47, of Masters Road, Leamington, had denied 12 charges of handling stolen property, but changed his pleas to guilty on ten of them on the day of his trial.
Jane Sarginson, prosecuting, said Harrington had an extensive criminal record, with 48 convictions for theft or handling, although his last conviction was in 2004.
She said: “These offences are all handling items which had been stolen from sheds on allotments or from the garages of houses.
“They came to the attention of the police as a result of a complaint made by the allotments secretary at the Rugby Road allotments in Cubbington at just before 9am on February 13 last year.”
After another theft, one of the allotment owners noticed his belongings at a car boot sale in Stoneleigh and made a note of the number of Harrington’s Transit van and of a trailer he was using and passed them to the police.
Officers went to his home where they found him and two other men next to the van and trailer which were full of items including tools, strimmers and rotavators.
Harrington claimed he had bought some of the items at a boot sale a week ago and had had others “for ages”.
But that was clearly a lie because the sheds on the Rugby Road allotments had only been burgled the night before.
Other property had come from sheds on the Binswood allotments and garages in Arlington Avenue and Bentley Miss Sarginson said not all the owners had put values on the items they had lost, but altogether the stolen property Harrington was caught with was worth several thousand pounds.
Nick Devine, defending, said Harrington did visit car boot sales for legitimate purposes and had been approached by a man called Norman Ogle who asked him to help sell some items.
But Recorder Peter Cooke told him: “If he wants that account accepted, he’d better give evidence on oath.”
Jailing Harrington, Recorder Cooke told him: “The prosecution case is put on the basis that a man with a great number of previous convictions has been fencing stolen tools taken in break-ins of sheds and garages. Your case is that you have done, for no reward, a favour for a friend. I’ve heard you and seen you give evidence and I don’t believe what you’ve told me. I believe you were closely allied to those who were the sources of this property, and you’ve been fencing several thousand pounds worth of tools taken in break-ins of sheds and garages, providing a regular outlet for stolen property.”
How Smartwater helped reunite lost items
• Sgt David Kettle of Warwick rural east safer neighbourhood team said some of the stolen goods had been marked with Smartwater, enabling police to prove it had been stolen and return it to its owners.
He said: “It’s a fantastic result on the back of a bit of good policing. Appeals in the press obviously helped, as did the Smartwater. It highlights the benefit of marking your stuff. It’s just a shame we were unable to identify the remaining items, which we suspect were stolen.”
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Weather for Leamington
Sunday 19 May 2013
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