Blundering Worksop thief only one of gang caught after £30K power tool burglary

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A blundering Worksop thief who helped steal nearly £30,000 of power tools was the only one of a gang to be caught after leaving his face uncovered on CCTV and DNA in the getaway van.

Carl Simpson's five accomplices wore balaclavas and gloves and were carrying crow bars when they broke into Travis Perkins, on Vesuvius Way, Worksop, on July 19 last year, Nottingham Crown Court was told.

He stayed outside while some scaled the metal fence and broke through a security door and two worked on cutting the fence.

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The burglars ran in and out of the premises, transferring stolen equipment, while one man tried and failed to crow bar his way into a safe that contained £6,000.

Nottingham Crown Court.Nottingham Crown Court.
Nottingham Crown Court.

The six-minute raid cost £8,880 in repairs and the firm lost £14,000 in sales. But the £28,447 of stolen goods were recovered after police spotted their stolen Ford Transit with false number plates parked nearby.

All six men scattered but Simpson was arrested on August 30.

His face was seen on CCTV and DNA was found on a cigarette butt in the van and on a jacket he discarded nearby.

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"If this is the Great Train Robbery I suspect he is sub-Ronnie Biggs," said Digby Johnson, mitigating. "He was the only one to be picked up.”

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Simpson was driving a friend’s Hyundai with false number plates, despite being banned until 2026, when police pulled him over on April 27.

He refused to get out and accidentally rolled the car over an officer's foot, causing painful bruising, before lying about his name and date of birth.

Simpson assaulted a woman by elbowing her aside as she tried to stop him stealing £18 of meat from One Stop, Worksop, on May 11.

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He stole £340 of bacon, coffee and razor blades in eight shop thefts between April 28 and May 28.

Mr Johnson said Simpson’s offences were “symptomatic of a broken life” and argued the sentence could be suspended so he can tackle his drug addiction.

Simpson, 43, of Gateford Road Worksop, admitted burglary, assault, shop thefts, assaulting an emergency worker, obstructing an officer, driving while disqualified and with a false registration plate.

On Thursday, Recorder Penelope Stanistreet-Keen sentenced him to two years, suspended for 18 months, with 200 hours of unpaid work, and a drug rehabilitation programme.