A PROLIFIC burglar has been put behind bars – after admitting almost 50 separate thefts and break-ins in just eight months.
Craig Kemp, aged 28, stole nearly £10,000 worth of property, targeting shops, sheds and garages around Barnsley.
Sheffield Crown Court heard Kemp’s crime spree included taking bikes and £3,000 of laptops from a market stall as well as burgling an office block.
Kemp claimed he turned to crime after being made redundant and becoming hooked on drugs – but Judge Robert Moore said he deserved jail as he had breached a two-year suspended sentence which he received in 2011 for attempted burglary.
“This court gave you a chance, but your relapse was fairly spectacular in terms of the number of offences you committed. This matter is so serious only an immediate custodial sentence is justified,” said Judge Moore, jailing Kemp for 20 months.
Kemp stole the bikes on September 27 last year. He was caught on CCTV stealing a £100 mountain bike from the backyard of a house on Burton Road, Monk Bretton, at around 4.30am.
He was then spotted in a neighbouring yard taking a nine-year-old girl’s pink BMX bike.
Kemp was arrested and bailed, but struck again in November at the Digital Media Centre on County Way, where he was seen by a worker in the kitchen, rummaging around in the cupboards.
He was later filmed on a security camera leaving holding carrier bags stuffed with almost £40 of food from the kitchen.
When he was arrested again he told officers he only ‘went in for a cup of coffee’, said Megan Rhys, prosecuting.
Kemp’s final burglary happened just days later when police caught him inside Barnsley Market before 8am, trying to unlock the doors with a bunch of keys.
A check of the stalls found laptops had been stolen from a stall selling computer equipment.
The court heard Kemp’s criminal career began in 1998 and included offences of violence and dishonesty.
Kemp, of Keir Street, Barnsley, admitted theft and burglary – but Timothy West, defending, said he also wanted another 47 offences taken into consideration.
The first batch included 11 thefts and six burglaries, while the second totalled 30 offences – eight thefts, five burglaries of sheds and garages and 11 burglaries at shops.
Mr West said Kemp lost his job as a fork-lift truck driver last April before being evicted from his home, was forced to give up custody of his child and became addicted to the drug M-Cat.