‘I’m Lovin It’ burglars caught by McDonald's trip

Sean Smith jailed for burglary

Sean Smith jailed for burglary - Credit: Cambs Police

Burglars tempted by McDonald’s ‘I’m Lovin It’ slogan will have time behind bars to ponder whether a celebratory breakfast was the right choice.  

For it was their decision to pop into McDonald’s in Cambridge after stealing a £48,000 car and going on a spending spree that put police on their trail.  

They used the cash card they had also stolen overnight to pay for the meal and it was that transaction – and others – pinging on a banking phone app that alerted the victim. 

Video evidence of Philip Johnston and Sean Smith was soon found on the McDonald’s CCTV system. 

And once viewed showed both men using the stolen card pay for their meal.  

At Peterborough Crown Court on October 19 Johnston, 47, of no fixed abode, was sentenced to five years and four months in prison after previously pleading guilty to two counts of burglary. 

Philip Johnston jailed for more than five years 

Philip Johnston jailed for more than five years - Credit: Cambs Police

Smith, 22, also of no fixed abode, was sentenced on October 22 to a year in prison after previously pleading guilty to two counts of burglary. 

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Detective Constable Eitan Joseph said: “On the face of it, Johnston and Smith managed to carry out two sophisticated burglaries making off with significant goods.  

“However, they proved their plan was not fool proof when they left behind a trail of evidence.” 

In the early hours of June 1, Philip Johnston and Sean Smith forced the rear patio doors open to a home in Gwydir Street, Cambridge, and while the victim was sleeping, made off with a laptop, wallet and a £48,000 grey BMW X1. 

It wasn’t until the next morning when the victim’s laptop bag was returned to him and he received messages on his phone alerting him to unusual bank card activity, including an early trip to McDonalds, that he realised he’d been burgled. 

The pair also targeted a home in Coleridge Road and the victim woke to find the keys for his Hyundai Tucson missing along with house keys and his wallet.  

A drill steam mop, circular saw and tennis bag had also been taken from the shed and more than £300 in transactions on his bank cards. 

Police carried out enquiries at McDonalds and while obtaining CCTV which showed Johnson and Smith making the transaction, the manager also handed over two bank cards which they had left behind belonging to both of the victims. 

Johnston was arrested the same day with the BMW key in his cigarette packet and Smith was arrested the following day wearing the same clothes seen in the CCTV images. 

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