Beating Burglary Together: Three-year sentence for Lincoln offender
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A man who tried the windows of flats before stealing valuable electronics and tech, has been sentenced to three years in prison.
Stephen Scrimshaw, 46, of Carr Street, was found guilty of a burglary at Brayford Court in Lincoln following a trial and sentenced at Lincoln Crown Court last week.
He had opened a window of a flat at 2.46am on 26 January this year, gained entry to the property, and stole an Oculus Rift 2 virtual reality headset, a laptop, debit cards and accessories. He also stole green ‘bags for life’ style carrier bags.
Now, we want tell you how we helped to secure this conviction.
Officers initially responded to the incident and carried out enquiries with people in the local area.
Investigators then delved into CCTV footage and forensic evidence which tied Scrimshaw to the incident.
They combed through CCTV footage from Brayford Court, before broadening the search to gather footage from other sources. The City of Lincoln Council’s CCTV team helped with checks of specific locations and times.
Cameras captured a man later identified as Scrimshaw in High Street at 2.15am, and the Stonebow at 2.23am, and then tracked him walking through the city centre. He then left the city centre and walked the distance between the High Street to Carholme Road. He entered the grounds at 2.45am. The footage showed that he had entered the premises empty-handed with his face covered, and left with two bags-for-life style carriers and a blue rucksack.
Investigators were able to link the footage from the various cameras around the city centre to the same individual by comparing the clothing, which included distinctive Nike trainers, a ribbed jacket, black balaclava and dark blue trousers. His face was visible in some of the footage, shoring up the certainty that Scrimshaw was the man responsible.
Thanks to the thorough investigative work, the man in the CCTV was identified at Stephen Scrimshaw.
But the work did not end there.
Forensic investigators recovered a footprint from the window sill with a block pattern common to Nike trainers – a brand he wore.
Cyber investigators examined his phone and found text messages which further linked him to the burglary.
In one, sent two weeks after the incident, he sent a messaging saying: “Tell your lad if he got £300 I sell him Octylus Rift [sic].” He got a response confirming they would when they had the money.
Investigators also examined previous offences committed by Scrimshaw to present as evidence to demonstrate “bad character”, a term used to show that a person has a disposition the commission of an offence or other reprehensible behaviour.
He was charged on 9 May and initially bailed. This bail was breached in July and he was remanded into custody until his trial, and handed his three-year sentence at the conclusion of the hearing at Lincoln Crown Court on 20 September.
Investigating officer DC Richard Morley, said: “Being a victim of burglary can be very scary and cause lots of unwanted stress. With the cost of living rising these effects are greater than ever. This case illustrates the determination of Lincolnshire Police to investigate every report of burglary thoroughly and will pursue all lines of enquiry to make Lincolnshire a safer place to live.”
In June, we launched our Beating Burglary Together campaign which set out our commitment to give an insight into how we tackle burglary, raise awareness of where incidents are happening and to provide crime prevention and security advice.
Our campaign focuses on areas of risk and we are currently targeting the Carholme ward (West Parade area) – a community with a high proportion of students. We have designed a poster with a message to burglars: We are watching you. If you would like a copy please email [email protected]
For more information about reducing your risk of burglary, visit our website section on crime prevention. We recommend Immobilise where you can log your valuables and record serial numbers – this helps in our investigations and means you are more likely to get your property back if it’s stolen.