Opportunist burglar who targeted Epsom businesses receives custodial sentence
A description provided by a local resident and blood found at two break-ins helped officers to make a successful arrest and bring charges against an opportunist burglar.
Luke Hicks, also known as Luke Penfold, age 36 of Lea Bridge Road, Leyton, East London, has been sentenced to prison for a series of burglaries at commercial premises in Epsom and Ewell.
In the early hours of Tuesday, 5 June, we received a call from a beauty salon on Kingston Road in Epsom, reporting a burglary after the security company alerted the owner to an alarm at the premises. Police attended the salon to find that a glass panel had been forced and the property had been entered, with the cash register missing. A laptop was also reported to have been stolen. During house to house enquires, a witness helpfully provided officers with a description of the suspect and recalled seeing a man force the glass door panel to gain entry, before exiting the building with a till drawer and driving off at speed.
A second call was received early on 6 June from a pharmacy on Epsom High Street, reporting that a glass panel had been smashed and a quantity of controlled prescription drugs had been stolen during the night. Tests on a sample of blood left on broken glass at the scene was tested and revealed a 1 in 100 million match for Luke Hicks.
The same night, a restaurant on Chessington Road in Ewell reported the theft of their cash till. A blood sample was found on the counter, which scenes of crime officers tested and results again showed a positive match for Hicks. A cash drawer with blood on was later located in Crosslands Road.
Enquires revealed that Hicks was on remand for two residential burglaries in the Metropolitan Police area. He was arrested on 8 June in the Metropolitan Police area and after being transferred to Surrey, admitted to the three offences during interviews.
Hicks appeared at Guildford Crown Court on Thursday, 19 July and plead guilty to three charges of commercial burglary. He’s been sentenced to a 16 month custodial sentence.
Investigating officer, Police Constable Joseph Brown, said: “We hope Hicks’ sentencing acts as a deterrent to those thinking of committing burglaries in Epsom and Ewell. Burglary will not be tolerated in our county and we’ll do all we can to bring offenders to justice and to protect our residents from these crimes. Operation Spearhead has been running with overt and covert officers and staff deployed solely to prevent burglaries and catch offenders, but residents can help us by registering their valuables on Immobilise and investing in unique marking liquid such as SelectaDNA.
For advice on protecting your business premises, including CCTV, alarms and security lighting, visit our website - https://surrey.police.uk/advice/protecting-your-business/premises-security/
SelectaDNA is available at a 50% discount to Surrey residents, using code DNASURREY50 to order a kit for just £29.75. Visit www.selectadna.co.uk to order and to find out more.