Man stole to pay for crisis loans and rent

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A THIEF who repeatedly stole from strangers’ cars was attempting to stave off dire financial problems, a court has heard.

Andrew James Nye, 32, of no fixed address, appeared at Bury St Edmunds Magistrates’ Court last Thursday to plead guilty to stealing from a car in Thetford and interfering with another car with the intention of stealing.

He asked for six similar offences of theft from cars to be taken into consideration.

Nye was sent to prison for 42 days and ordered to pay £750 in compensation.

Prosecuting, Wayne Ablett said that at around 10pm on May 12 the owner of a red Ford parked outside a house in Nunnery Drive.

When she returned to the car the following day she found that a Tom Tom satellite navigation system, valued at £120, had been stolen.

She told police she had been having problems with the locks on the vehicle and may have left it unlocked, said Mr Ablett.

At around 3.30am on May 13, Nye was caught on CCTV trying to open the door of a car in Gale Way.

In mitigation, Elizabeth Blemkinsop said that Nye had committed the offences because he was struggling financially and ‘was desperate not to be evicted’.

She said Nye was unable to work after shattering his foot on a fall from a balcony and that, having not received benefits for 14 weeks, he was in rent arrears and living off of crisis loans.

She added that doctors were limited to what they could give Nye for pain relief because of his previous addiction to heroin but that ‘he is determined to stay off the drugs’.

Nye did not break into any cars, all of the vehicles he interfered with were already unlocked, said Miss Blemkinsop.

“He turned himself into the police station to get the matters cleared up because they were weighing on his conscience,” she said.