Jail for Robbing a Store in Houghton Regis

A burglar has been sentenced to almost four years behind bars after a series of burglaries and robberies across the south of Bedfordshire.

Stanley Hughes, 20, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty to two counts of robbery, two counts of burglary, one count of handling stolen goods and two counts of theft. He was sentenced at Luton Crown court on Tuesday, 21 July.

On 9 December Hughes entered a store in Houghton Regis and stole items of food and drink. On the same day, Hughes approached an elderly woman in the town, grabbed her handbag and made off.

Four days later, Hughes and Jason Smith, a burglar who was previously sentenced for this offence, entered a property in Rowelfield, Luton, before making off with a number of items including a handbag and an iPad.

The men were caught on dashcam footage from the victim’s car which was parked on the drive. Car keys which did not belong to the victim were identified at the property.

On the same day at 7.15am, Hughes was with Smith when they entered a shop in Limbury Road and threatened a man with a screwdriver before taking a till and car keys.

Both men were arrested shortly after.

Beds Police dedicated burglary unit, Operation Maze, worked hard to identify Hughes on CCTV from all of the offences. When he was arrested on 13 December, he was wearing the same trainers which he had been captured wearing in footage from both offences earlier in the day.

Detective Constable Jason Wheeler, who led the investigation, said: “I am pleased that I was able to identify Hughes on each offence from CCTV, and he will now spend significant time behind bars.

“I do hope, however, that he will spend his time reflecting on his actions, as I know he is remorseful of his actions. We will not tolerate these types of crimes and we are working to catch these criminals.

“In these cases, CCTV and dashcam footage was invaluable and I would urge the public to please consider investing in it if they can afford to do so. Not only can it act as a deterrent to opportunist thieves, but it can also help us identify offenders quickly.”

Hughes received a sentence of two years and four months for robbery and 18 months for robbery, which will be served consecutively.

He also received further sentences of two years and four months for robbery, 18 months for burglary, one month for theft from a shop, one month for another theft and eight months for handling stolen goods. These will run concurrently.

Jason Smith, 34, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty to five counts of burglary, one count of attempted burglary, four counts of vehicle theft and one count of robbery, and was sentenced to 10 years and six months.

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