Couple sentenced for Tunbridge Wells burglaries

22 November 2016, 07:09 | Updated: 22 November 2016, 07:11

A man and a woman have been sentenced after committing a string of burglaries together in Tunbridge Wells.

Dale Pearson, 22 and Karis Thatcher, 19, stole cash from pubs and restaurants during a crime spree earlier this year.

On 14 July, 2016 the pair targeted four properties in the town. They stole cash from a restaurant in Camden Road and also tried to enter a pub nearby, but were disturbed. Money was also taken from a bar in Mount Ephraim and from a charity box at a pub in Calverley Road.

Their crime spree came to an end on 18 July, when police stopped them in a car in Tonbridge. Thatcher was arrested but Pearson fled. The following day he was located again in Hadlow and also arrested.

Detectives investigating the case identified Pearson as being responsible for further crimes, in the weeks prior to the offences in Tunbridge Wells. His fingerprints were found on a torch in Dymchurch on 28 June, when he targeted a food store, pub and a British Legion premises. On 1 July, Pearson had also raided tills and charity boxes after breaking into three premises in London Road, Teynham; including a property owned by Age Concern.

Appearing at Maidstone Crown Court, Pearson and Thatcher were both sentenced on 18 November. Pearson, of no fixed address, had previously pleaded guilty to seven burglaries and three attempted burglaries. He also admitted a separate offence of dangerous driving and was sentenced to a total of 3 years and two months in prison.

Thatcher, formerly of Chaucer Road, Elvington, Dover pleaded guilty to three burglaries and one attempted burglary. She was sentenced to 16 months in an institution for young offenders, suspended for two years. Thatcher is required to complete a community order, comprising 80 hours of unpaid work.
Detective Sergeant Tom Daveney said: 'Pearson and Thatcher targeted multiple businesses across Kent, often stealing money from charity boxes which had been destined for worthy causes. Typically one of them would break into premises, whilst the other acted as a lookout. Their crimes will not only have had an impact on their many victims but will also have deprived those who rely on the generosity and support of the public, in the form of charitable donations.'