April 23 2014 Latest news:
Monday, February 24, 2014
A luggage thief who went on a stealing spree at King’s Cross station has been jailed for 15 months.
Adam Newton pleaded guilty to eight counts of theft after taking property worth more than £11,500 when he boarded stationary trains and took whatever he could from luggage racks before going back onto the platform.
Blackfriars Crown Court heard he had already served a prison sentence for similar offences before targeting passengers on December 14 and 15 last year.
Newton was caught after an investigation by British Transport Police (BTP), which said he took suitcases from King’s Cross and Paddington stations containing property worth including computers, clothing and jewellery.
In most cases the victims did not realise they had fallen prey to the crime until they arrived at their destinations, which were as far afield as Paignton, Oxford and Peterborough.
BTP Det Con Dave Graney said: “I had arrested Newton for a similar series of offences back in 2010 and knew, as soon as I saw the CCTV, that he had struck again.”
Newton was arrested the day after the thefts took place and admitted all the offences.
He was sentenced to 15 months in prison at the hearing on February 19.
Det Con Graney added: “Newton is a prolific, persistent, thief who will now spend several months behind bars. He will have plenty of time to consider his actions and our prompt arrest should serve as a warning to him – and others – that British Transport Police will act swiftly to take action against thieves.
“Since the incidents we have managed to track down five of the stolen pieces of luggage though several items and the three remaining bags have not yet been traced.
“Theft can be extremely personal as often the property stolen has sentimental as well as monetary value. It is, therefore, vital that all rail travellers are aware of their surroundings and keep a close eye on their belongings.
“The rail network is a relatively low crime environment, but there are some people – such as Newton – who will happily seek to profit from the misfortune of others.
“We are taking steps to address this and will always seek to bring thieves to justice, but we need help from the public to report all crimes and suspicious behaviour as soon as possible.”