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Duo from Haverhill and Clare locked up for stealing charity collection boxes




Two men who stole six charities boxes from businesses in Earls Colne and Sible Hedingham have been jailed.

Paul Batterbee, 40, of Eastern Avenue, Haverhill, received 27 month concurrent sentences for two counts of burglary.

Jamie Darby, 39, of Westfield, Clare, received 27 month concurrent sentences for two counts of burglary and a month to run consecutively for theft of car keys.

Jamie Darby. Photo courtesy of Essex Constabulary
Jamie Darby. Photo courtesy of Essex Constabulary

He received a month concurrent for taking a vehicle without the owner’s consent.

They were both sentenced at Chelmsford Crown Court on Friday.

At around 3.30am on Thursday, April 4, Batterbee and Darby forced entry into a hardware shop in High Street, Earls Colne, and took five charity boxes.

Paul Batterbee. Photo courtesy of Essex Constabulary
Paul Batterbee. Photo courtesy of Essex Constabulary

They broke into the Co-Op store in Swan Street, Sible Hedingham, just 20 minutes later where they stole a charity box and cigarettes worth a four-figure sum of cash.

Officers were able to track the stolen vehicle they used to Eastern Avenue, Haverhill.

All but one house had their lights off and the vehicle parked outside this address was warm and there were gloves and a crowbar inside.

We searched the address and arrested Batterbee and Darby before discovering the empty charity boxes and cigarettes.

Investigating officer PC Leila Sandford, of Braintree CID, said: "Batterbee and Darby targeted two businesses in the early hours of the morning before driving off with six charity boxes and a large amount of cigarettes in a stolen vehicle.

"Following some quick thinking, we were able to locate the vehicle to a street in Haverhill before our officers’ intuition took over.

"Both men were arrested and the stolen charity boxes and cigarettes were discovered simply because they left a light on in a dark street.

"They have both since been sent to prison for breaking into businesses and stealing the generous donations of their customers.”



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