Burglar tried to break into charity shop that has been targeted five times

Age UK shop
Age UK shop

A would-be burglar who struck at businesses across Preston during a two month crime spree has been jailed for a year and 18 weeks.

Robert William Towers, of Fishergate Hill, Preston, damaged properties as he tried to break in to steal goods.

Lumen Court

Lumen Court

Preston Crown Court was told one of his targets, the Age UK charity shop on Market street, had been targeted by burglars five times.

Preston Crown Court heard on August 20 the 34-year-old tried to break into Lumen Court.

However the attempts was only discovered by staff after he caused £350 damage at the same site on September 20.

Kimberley Obrusik, prosecuting, said: “On September 20 Julie Nicholas, the caretaker, attended work and did a quick check at 11.15am.

“When she entered the bin storage area she located this defendant rummaging through waste containers and there were a number of bin bags that had already been split open.

“He remarked to her: ‘You’d be surprised at the things I’ve found in these bins’ which alerted her.

“She told him to clear up the mess and leave and in fairness he did clear up some rubbish.”

However when the woman checked the CCTV, she saw Towers pull the gate completely off its hinges.

She checked the footage back further and saw Towers attend the site with two other men, jumping over a fence and into communal gardens.

The court was also told of two further attempted burglaries at shops in Preston city centre.

At 6.12am on October 14, a member of staff at Topshop was asked to view their CCTV by Age UK because their store had been broken into.

The defendant was seen approaching the rear door of Topshop and trying the handle, before walking towards Age UK.

At 9am staff found the rear door had been broken and the top bolt unlocked.

The damage is valued at £1,000.

The court heard it is the fifth time the charity store had been targeted this year.

Judge Robert Altham ordered Towers to pay a £140 surcharge and imposed an immediate jail term.