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19 July 2011, 07:47 | Updated: 19 July 2011, 07:49
A 27-year-old man has been sent to prison for four and a half years after admitting more than twenty house burglaries over the past few months.
Steven Johnson, from Pembroke Avenue, in Woodbridge in Suffolk was sentenced to the term after admitting more than 30 crimes - 26 of them home burglaries in the Woodbridge area.
Johnson also admitted two charges of handling stolen property and eight burglaries of 'other' buildings, including offices, club premises and businesses.
He admitted many of the offences after co-operating with police under Operation Converter - an initiative that encourages offenders to admit their crimes in a bid to give their victims some peace of mind.
Detective Inspector Darrell Skuse, who oversees the Operation Converter team, said;
"Police in the Woodbridge began to notice an upturn in house burglaries in the area earlier this year and work to trace an offender for these crimes highlighted Johnson as a suspect. He was charged with handling stolen property in February following a burglary in Melton and detectives continued work to try to secure evidence to link him further crimes.
This led to more charges and his subsequent remand in custody when he then began to co-operate with officers under Operation Converter, which encourages criminals to admit their crimes and be sentenced for them all in one go, rather than risk there being prosecutions later on when further evidence is discovered, on the understanding that if they commit further offences they may face a more substantial sentence. Most importantly through this co-operation we are able to give victims of his burglaries some peace of mind that an offender has been found and dealt with.
Johnson will now have some time to reflect on his actions and the misery he brought to householders in the Woodbridge area."
Johnson's crimes included house break-ins in Woodbridge, Campsea Ashe, Great Bealings, Bromeswell and Melton, many of them in January, February, March and early April this year.
They included burglaries at homes in Pytches Road, Bridgewood Road, Fen Walk, Warren Hill Road, Conach Road, Mill View Close, Dukes Park, Highlands Lane, Haughgate Close, Turn Lane and Ipswich Road in Woodbridge and Saxon Way, Bredfield Road, Melton Grange Road, Melton Road and Old Church Road in Melton.
Detective Inspector Angus Moir, of Suffolk Coastal CID said; "We'd like to thank all those members of the public who assisted detectives in bringing Johnson to justice.
On a personal level I hope that Johnson's engagement with the Operation Converter team is a genuine sign that he wants to put his offending behaviour behind him.
The sentence given shows that the justice system treats home burglaries very seriously and is a harsh reminder to those who commit these offences that they will be caught and brought to justice - and will face a considerable time in prison."