Prolific thief who stole multiple cars and cash in Cambridgeshire in crime spree is jailed

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A thief who went on a summer spree in Cambridgeshire stealing cars, cash and washing powder, has been jailed.

A court heard how Robert Payne, 32, stole a Jaguar X-type, a Peugeot 207 and cash from another vehicle during a three week period. He also went on to steal washing powder and beer from a shop in Cambridge before being caught.

Robert Payne, 32.

Robert Payne, 32.

Payne, of no fixed abode, admitted two counts of theft of a motor vehicle, theft from a motor vehicle and theft from a shop.

On Monday, October 29, at Cambridge Crown Court he was sentenced to a year and nine months in jail.

Detective Constable Paul Evans said: “Payne went on this spree with absolutely no consideration for others as he stole from them. I hope the sentence will act as a deterrent to those who feel this kind of behaviour is acceptable.”

Payne’s crime spree began on 28 July when he stole the Jaguar X-type from outside a property in Alice Bell Close.

When the vehicle was recovered by police on 4 August in Hawthorn Close it had a flat tyre and a damaged wheel rim. Officers discovered a car jack on the back seat, which was later found to have Payne’s DNA on it.

At about 9.20pm on 12 August, Payne smashed a window of a Mercedes S Class outside a property in Camside, stealing about £20 in cash. However, his DNA was found on two torches and a pair of gloves he left at the scene.

Then, on 17 August, he stole the Peugeot 207 overnight in Hertford Street. Three days later the vehicle was found in Squires Close and Payne’s DNA was discovered on another car jack left in one of the rear foot wells.

Finally, on 30 August, Payne entered a branch of One Stop, in Unwin Square, and filled a rucksack with boxes of washing powder. When he was challenged by a member of staff he took a box of Bud Light beer and left the shop without paying for the goods.