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Prolific burglar jailed after two month crime spree totalling £10,000

29 Aug 2019

A man has been jailed for eight years after he committed a number of business burglaries and knife point robberies, stealing in excess of £10,000 in cash and goods, in less than two months.

Paul Magnan, 30, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty to 13 offences and was sentenced yesterday (Wednesday) at Luton Crown Court.

Magnan’s spree began on 7 February when he broke into a newsagents in Dunstable. He left blood at the scene which, following a forensic analysis, linked him to the burglary.

Two days later he smashed a window to a Children’s Centre in Houghton Regis, and after a search he stole two laptops. He left his blood at the scene on one of the doors inside.

Overnight between 12 and 13 February, Magnan broke in to a primary school in Dunstable, again leaving his blood at the scene. He searched the school and stole six laptops and a camera worth £2,700.

A week later, in the early hours of 20 February, he broke into an e-cigarette shop in Dunstable, stealing approximately £1,100 worth of stock. He not only left his blood at the scene but also was clearly captured on CCTV.

Two weeks later he targeted a Co-op store in Dunstable, forcing metal shutters open and using a brick to smash the glass behind them. He targeted the cigarette stall, stealing approximately £3,500 worth of cigarettes and nicotine.

On 7 March, Magnan filled a basket of items in a Nisa store in Houghton Regis and left without attempting to pay for the items. After a string of business break-ins, he then committed a knife-point robbery on 11 March in the same Nisa. He threated a member of staff with a knife and demanded money from the till, before he jumped over the counter, took two money boxes and ran out of the shop.

Less than one week later, on 17 March, he entered a post office in Hockwell Ring, Luton wearing a scarf covering his face. He threatened staff members with a knife and stole a till from behind the counter. When reviewing CCTV, Magnan was seen at the post office just a day before wearing exact same clothing and was identified by a witness.

He was arrested on 21 March by three police officers, after stealing car keys from a locker in a gym in Houghton Regis, and subsequently stealing the car.

The owner of the car alerted the police, and officers located the stolen car less than two minutes after the initial call. Magnan abandoned it and attempted to make off on foot but was detained at the scene.

During his spree, the officers who investigated the scenes of his crimes gathered DNA evidence left behind by Magnan as well as CCTV footage. Additionally at the time of his arrest he was wearing shoes which officers forensically matched the Nisa store robbery.

Magnan was sentenced to eight years for one count of robbery in the Nisa store in Houghton Regis and four years and ten months to run concurrently for the post office robbery. He was also sentenced for five counts of burglary, possession of an offensive weapon, two counts of theft, threatening a person with bladed article and driving offences, also to run concurrently.

Detective Constable Gary Hatton, who investigated, said: “It is clear that Magnan committed his crimes deliberately and systematically and with no regard to other members of our community. He showed a quick escalation from business burglaries in the middle of the night to threatening innocent members of staff with a knife in a broad daylight.

“He stole thousands of pounds worth of goods, caused a great deal of damage to the properties he targeted and his actions will have caused financial loss to business owners who were unable to carry out their usual business.

“Throughout our investigation we have built a strong case against Magnan, and due to an overwhelming burden of CCTV and forensic evidence, he decided to plead guilty.

“Magnan belongs behind bars and will now spend a lengthy time in prison paying for his crimes.

“We will not tolerate violent crimes and burglaries in our neighbourhoods and we will continue to work hard to apprehend the perpetrators.”

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