Man jailed for shoplifting and stealing from parked car in St Albans

A man has been jailed for stealing from cars and from Homebase in St Albans.

A man has been jailed for stealing from cars and from Homebase in St Albans. - Credit: Archant

A 36-year-old man was sentenced to 32 weeks in prison for theft from a motor vehicle and shoplifting in St Albans.

Simon Speer, of Langley Grove, Sandridge, was sentenced at Hatfield Remand Court on Monday, August 13.

He stole sunglasses from a car parked in Hazelmere Road on Monday, July 23, and on the same day tried the door handles of a neighbouring parked car.

On Thursday, August 9, Speer also stole a laser level and screwdrivers from Homebase.

PC Dan Bleach, of the St Albans Operation Scorpion Team which deals with burglars, robbers and vehicle-related crime, said: “We were able to quickly identify Speer from CCTV. We saw an increase in thefts from vehicles during July and August across St Albans as many vehicles were left insecure.

“Speer would try vehicle doors and steal anything he could from those that had not been locked. Although Speer’s offending may seem relatively minor, it had a big impact on the public who were concerned about a thief operating in their neighbourhoods.”

At the time Speer committed the latest three offences, to which he pleaded guilty, he was subject to a suspended sentence for thefts from vehicles in June and July this year.

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PC Toby Beaman said: “We are pleased that Speer has been given a custodial sentence as he paid no attention to the conditions of his previous sentence and carried on stealing.

“I would urge motorists to please make sure they’ve locked their vehicles and double check. Between 80 and 90 per cent of thefts from motor vehicle in the St Albans district are reported to the police by victims who say they do not know how access was gained to their vehicle.

“It is highly likely that these victims of crime are not properly locking their cars. Make sure your car is locked after you push the lock button and that you haven’t left anything, especially valuables inside and on display.

“The majority of these crimes are easily preventable by simply locking the door. We have CCTV images that clearly show offenders trying door handles.

“If they are locked, they move on to one that isn’t. Make sure it’s not yours.”

If you see a vehicle-related crime in progress call police on 999, or to report a crime retrospectively call police on the non-emergency number 101.