Addict admits Haverhill car break-ins

A heroin addict admitted to magistrates that he broke into four cars in one night in Haverhill and stole items from inside each one to pay off a drug debt.

Alex Preston, of Tayfen House, Bury St Edmunds, admitted four counts of theft from a vehicle and one charge of assaulting a police officer when he appeared at Bury St Edmunds Magistrates Court last Friday (25).

Colette Griffiths, prosecuting, said 29-year-old Preston was seen by an eye witness taking something from a car at 5.50am on Tuesday, January 15 and called the police.

Mrs Griffiths said: “Pc Williams attends, sees Mr Preston running down an alleyway and runs after him.

“He sees a metal object in his hand and believing it to be a knife the officer defends himself with a model strike and Mr Preston swings an arm at him and knocks him to the floor.”

Ten minutes later, added Mrs Griffiths, Preston was arrested by PC Williams and found in possession of a hammer.

Mrs Griffiths added: “He said he had a £60 drug debt that he owed for heroin and took the glass hammer with him to break into cars.”

The court heard Preston broke into four cars by smashing a window, two in Bourne Road and two in Girton Road.

He stole a sat nav and a purse containing £3 from a Vauxhall Corsa, a heart pendant from a Renault Kangoo, a plastic money box containing £3 from a Peugeot 307 and a wallet containing money, worth £40, from a Peugeot.

In mitigation, Lyndon Davies said Preston has a number of convictions but had been out of trouble for two years, but had recently become homeless and after returning to using heroin again got into debt.

Magistrates ordered that Preston serve a nine months community sentence, with nine months supervision, pay £60 in costs to each theft victim for their car window repairs, plus £40 for the stolen wallet and £50 compensation to PC Williams.