A PROFESSIONAL burglar found a high-powered Maserati too hot to handle after stealing it from a home in Leamington.
Ronald Coombes smashed into around ten parked cars, writing off the £67,000 Maserati as he tried to drive it away.
A judge at Warwick Crown Court heard the persistent criminal’s other offences included stealing the nameplate from the old crown court in Warwick as a memento.
Coombes, age 39 of Leicester Street, Leamington, was jailed for four-and-a-half years after pleading guilty to burglary, attempted burglary, two charges of theft and asked for four other burglaries to be taken into consideration.
Prosecutor Richard Franck said that on June 29 a man opened the back door of his home in Clarendon Street, Leamington, to let the cat out, and went back inside.
But he fell asleep without locking the door, and was woken at 1am by police officers telling him his car had been stolen from the car port.
The key to his Maserati had been stolen by an intruder, together with a watch, the key to his wife’s car, and a laptop on which he had preparatory work for a masters degree.
The car had been found by the police, having been abandoned after crashing into other cars further down the road, and was so badly damaged it has been written off.
In the powerful car, the police found a partly-smoked roll-up cigarette on which Coombes’s DNA was later discovered.
On July 27 a man caught Coombes in his garden on a security camera and he was recognised by an officer.
Following his arrest, Coombes – who had a large number of previous convictions including burglaries going back to the early 90s – admitted the offences and the theft of two name plaques from outside the former crown court building in Warwick, where he had made a number of appearances in the past.
He was take on a ‘drive-round’ during which he told the police about the four other Leamington ‘car key burglaries’ he had asked to have taken into consideration, said Mr Franck.
Coombes had taken a £30,000 BMW after breaking into a house in Campion Terrace in May, a BMW worth £31,000 after burgling a house in Willes Road the same month, an Audi A5 following a break-in in Leicester Street, and an Audi TT after a burglary in Lansdowne Circus in July.
Spencer Stephens, defending, said Coombes had been released from his last sentence in January last year, and seemed to be making progress, having formed a new relationship and secured two jobs, but lost them.
His new partner lost their child, and after she had to move out of her former home he ended up in accommodation with people who were taking drugs, and he went off the rails and began taking cocaine and drinking to excess.
“He was stealing to provide those vehicles to the drug dealers,” explained Mr Stephens.
In relation to the crown court signs, he added: “He can’t really explain it. He had appeared there a number of times. It was the night he went off the rails, and he woke the following morning with one of the plaques next to him.”
Jailing Coombes, Judge Barry Berlin told him: “You are a professional burglar, and there was a significant degree of planning. There are a number of aggravating features, including a number of previous convictions for burglary.”