Jailed for jewel thefts

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A serial thief has been jailed for 16 weeks after he stole a ring and a bracelet worth over £1,000 from two Chesterfield pawnbrokers.

Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on Friday, October 24, how Karl Ward, 30, of Old Whittington Lane, Unstone, Dronfield, stole the ring from a Cash Brokers’ store and a Ramsden’s shop.

Prosecuting solicitor Becky Allsop said: “The defendant enquired about a sovereign ring, worth £495, at Cash Brokers and then put it on and ran out of the store.

“During the second theft, someone asked to look at a bracelet, worth £725, and then Ward took it and ran out of the store door but he dropped a mobile phone on the way out.”

Police were able to identify Ward from CCTV footage and after he was arrested he admitted stealing the ring and the bracelet and said he had sold them on.

Mrs Allsop added that Ward has 32 previous convictions for theft and dishonesty.

Ward pleaded guilty to the thefts after the offences were committed in September and October.

Defence solicitor Matt Evans said: “He has pleaded at the earliest opportunity to these offences and as far as the police investigation goes they knew him and where he lives and he went to the police station on a voluntary basis and made full admissions and explained that he felt he had let himself down.

“He had come out of prison on June 20 and was free from drugs and had a job with Eurocell making windows.

“But he committed these offences because he had met an old girlfriend who is a drug user and this has put him back into drugs and that’s why he committed these offences.

“He expects he will be serving a custodial sentence but when he comes out he aims to move back with his mother and get work. He has motivation to come off heroin.”

Magistrates sentenced Ward to 16 weeks of custody and ordered him to pay an £80 victim surcharge.