A member of a burglary gang who tried to steal thousands of pounds worth of computers from West Suffolk College has avoided an immediate jail sentence.
Benjamin Peck, 36, of Southwark, London, was caught when police discovered his fingerprints on plastic wrapping around one of 15 computers which had been taken from the technical drawing department on January 19 last year.
Ipswich Crown Court heard on Monday how the gang targeted three-year-old iMac computers which had cost the college around £1,000 each.
Prosecuting, Richard Potts said access to the college was gained by cutting through the perimeter fence but the burglars fled empty handed after setting off an alarm.
Detectives found a bag containing tools, including bolt croppers and an axe, abandoned on a flat roof close to the scene of the break in. A car used by the gang, which had false number plates, was also recovered nearby.
The raid had been “well planned and organised” said Mr Potts who told the court that police believed the gang had previously carried out research of the target.
Peck, who pleaded guilty to burglary, had become involved in an attempt to pay off debts arising from his use of drugs, said Andrew Thompson, defending.
Sentencing Peck to 16 weeks imprisonment, suspended for 12 months, Assistant Judge Advocate General Emma Peters said the raid had been foiled by the security system in use at the college.