Burglars broke in to Sainsbury's via children’s education centre - The Rugby Observer

Burglars broke in to Sainsbury's via children’s education centre

Correspondent 31st May, 2017   0

TWO BURGLARS forced their way into Sainsbury’s while night staff were still working, after spending over an hour breaking into a neighbouring education centre.

They left when they were disturbed after forcing open the tills at the store in Dunchurch Road, Rugby, and taking more than £1,800 in cash.

But Warwick Crown Court heard that Robert Smith was arrested after his blood was found on a window they removed to get in.

Smith, 26, of Longmead Court, Northampton, was jailed for 18 months after he pleaded guilty to two charges of burglary.

Prosecutor John Brotherton said part of the store’s premises is let out to a children’s education facility called Explore Learning.

A CCTV camera captured Smith and an accomplice arriving at 4am on December 11 last year.

They spent around 90 minutes removing a window before entering Explore Learning at around 5.30.

The intruders stole two tablet computers, a laptop and money from a cash tin.

They then broke into the main store where they forced the till drawers with a hammer and a screwdriver, and stole £1,880 in cash.

But a member of the night shift heard a noise and found them hiding by the tills.

They fled, but blood found on the window was identified as Smith’s, and he was arrested in April.

When questioned, he said he could not recall where he had been on the night, but claimed he had not been to Rugby.

Smith, whose last conviction had also been for a burglary at a Sainsbury’s store, for which he had been given a suspended sentence, was then shown the DNA analysis of the blood.

After first suggesting he had been set up, he admitted he was ‘bang to rights,’ said Mr Brotherton.

Smith, who explained he had been after money for Christmas, added he was very sorry for what he had done, and wanted to sort his life out.

Richard Baker, defending, said: “On the previous occasion an offence like this was committed he had succumbed to drug addiction, but that’s not the case on this occasion.

“He had a six-month-old child, he was having difficulty finding work, his girlfriend was on maternity leave, and they were struggling financially.

“But he is now working as a ground worker and he would be in a position to repay Sainsbury’s and the other organisation.”

Judge Richard Griffith-Jones interjected: “This is a case for immediate prison.”

Mr Baker added Smith had sorted his life out in the six months since the offences, and his relationship with his girlfriend ‘will be at an end, should he go to prison today’.

But jailing Smith, Judge Griffith-Jones told him: “You have a poor record, and in particular you had a suspended sentence for a commercial burglary previously. You’re not in breach of that, but it does make this a more serious matter.

“This is serious also because at a time when staff were still working at night and you had taken precautions to cover your face, you made a determined effort to break in, which took you over an hour.

“You were after as much as you could get, it was a sustained burglary, and it wasn’t the first time you had done it.”

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