Homeless man causes massive damage and steals donations from organisation set up to help him and others like him

PUBLISHED: 13:21 27 May 2020 | UPDATED: 13:21 27 May 2020

Jeffery Burton (right) stole from 50 Backpacks (pictured) during a crime spree. 50 Backpacks was set up to help homeless people like Burton. PIcture; BACKPACKS/POLICE

Jeffery Burton (right) stole from 50 Backpacks (pictured) during a crime spree. 50 Backpacks was set up to help homeless people like Burton. PIcture; BACKPACKS/POLICE

Archant

A homeless man caused thousands of pounds worth of damage – and stole £170 in cash- from an organisation set up to help a town’s most vulnerable pe

Jeffery Burton (right) stole from 50 Backpacks during a crime spree. 50 Backpacks was set up to help homeless people like Burton. PIcture; BACKPACKS/POLICEJeffery Burton (right) stole from 50 Backpacks during a crime spree. 50 Backpacks was set up to help homeless people like Burton. PIcture; BACKPACKS/POLICE

Jeffery Burton, 44, smashed his way into 50 Backpacks in Wisbech, during a week-long crime spree.

50 Backpacks has been at the forefront of supporting the community during the coronavirus pandemic and the theft knocked them back.

“Here we are putting ourselves at risk to voluntarily help vulnerable people and last night our Vision centre was broken into,” they posted to Facebook following the break in during the night of March 27.

“It resulted in thousands of pounds of damage. Cash donations and essential items were stolen which we there to support the local community”.

Burton, who admitted thefts totalling more than £11,000, was jailed for 20 months when he was sentenced at Peterborough Crown Court on Tuesday.

Burton also admitted failing to comply with notification requirements of the Sex Offenders Register.

He was placed on the register 25 years ago after being convicted of indecent assault.

Burton was arrested six days after the break-in at 50 Backpacks and later charged with other offences.

The day after the 50 Backpacks break-in, D&S General Store in North Street, Wisbech, also had a window smashed to gain entry, this time the offender made off with £7,000 worth of cigarettes, cash from the till, a Nokia Lumia mobile phone and a wallet.

The offender was identified through CCTV and fingerprints.

On April 1, Boots in Horsefair was broken into and £1,000 worth of electric toothbrushes and hairdryers were stolen.

The store was broken into again the following day and this time £700 worth of electric toothbrushes were stolen.

Burton could not be identified by CCTV but on April 3 he was found in Horsefair with an electric toothbrush with a serial number identical to one of those stolen from Boots.

Burton stole £2,500 worth of lead from Ely House, a grade two listed property in Lynn Road.

He was charged with two counts of theft by finding, four counts of non-dwelling burglary and failing to comply with notification requirements of the Sex Offenders Register.

He admitted all the offences.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Ely Standard. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Ely Standard