Prolific thief who targeted Doncaster train services is locked up for over year

A prolific Doncaster thief who targeted people travelling on trains through the town has been locked up for over a year.

Wednesday, 13th February 2019, 5:05 pm
Updated Wednesday, 13th February 2019, 5:07 pm
Carr was sentenced at Sheffield Crown Court, during a hearing held on Wednesday, February 13

Joseph Carr committed the series of thefts from trains between January 12 and 21 this year, Sheffield Crown Court heard. 

The 38-year-old committed the first offence on train travelling between Leeds and London, via Doncaster, on January 12. 

Zaiban Alam, prosecuting, described how Carr, of Catherine Street, Doncaster town centre waited in the train carriage with the buffet car in it, and when the train attendant in charge of it left to get some water he stole her mobile phone. 

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The theft was captured on close circuit television (CCTV) on the train, the court heard.  

“He concealed it by crossing his arms, and appeared to put it in his pocket,” said Ms Alam. 

After stealing the phone Carr got off the train at Doncaster. 

On January 19, Carr once again waited in the buffet car of a train travelling between York and Doncaster, and made his way into a private area on the train.

A train attendant was alerted to Carr’s presence when she heard him making a noise. 

Ms Alam said: “She came through into the area and had never seen a customer try to come through the [private] door before. He saw her and said: ‘You made me jump. I’ve got some rubbish for you’.”

When the train attendant went to get the cash float, which contained around £70, around half an hour later she realised it had been stolen. 

Carr then stole a suitcase stored in the luggage rack of a London-bound train, which contained designer clothes to the value of £834 and an Apple Mac laptop worth £900. 

The passenger realised the suitcase was missing after the train passed through Doncaster, and used the Find My Mac app to trace her laptop to a branch of Costa Coffee in Copley Road, Doncaster town centre. 

The woman called the police and CCTV showed Carr leaving the train with the suitcase at Doncaster railway station. 

Police arrested him on January 23, when he admitted to the three train thefts.

Carr also admitted to a stealing a jar of coffee from Caroline’s Corner in York Road on January 13, before making away with a push bike that was left outside the shop without a lock. 

Carr, who has an extensive criminal record of over 90 offences, pleaded guilty to five counts of theft at an earlier hearing. 

Pamela Coxon, defending, said Carr had spent ‘significant periods of time’ in prison since 2014, and had been forced to attend his father’s funeral in handcuffs after being granted special leave from prison to attend. 

Ms Coxon said Carr had tried to turn his life around since his most recent release from prison in June last year, but by the time of these offences he was homeless and had started taking heroin again. 

She told Judge Graham Reeds QC that Carr’s mother was terminally ill with the same form of cancer that killed his father, and said Carr was concerned he may be in prison when his mother passes away. 

Judge Reeds sentenced Carr to 14 months in prison.