A habitual offender has been sentenced to prison following a spree of crimes in Worthing.
Lee Gibson, 38, was apprehended after he burgled a residence on Marine Parade in the early hours of April 20th. He stole various items such as an electric scooter, car keys, a wallet, and an iPad.
The residents informed the police about the event but couldn’t offer a physical description as they didn’t witness the intruder. Consequently, Canine Unit officer PC Ryan Ashworth and Police Dog Cara were deployed. Cara traced the culprit’s scent from the crime scene to Montague Street, where Gibson was located. When confronted, he fled the scene on a bike.
In the meantime, PC Ashworth spotted an electric scooter identical to the one reported stolen near a disused buildings entranceway.
With the help of CCTV operators, the officer continued to pursue Gibson while his colleagues guarded the retrieved property. Gibson was finally located concealed in a stairwell at Augusta Place.
During his apprehension, Gibson resisted arrest, was abusive and used threatening behavior towards the officers. Following this, he was detained on charges of burglary and assaulting a police officer.
The stolen items were successfully recovered, and Gibson was held in custody to prevent any further criminal activities.
Simultaneously, detectives managed to connect him to numerous other crimes, charging him accordingly.
His charges included a burglary at Cock’s Kitchen Café on Brighton Road on 7th September 2022, where his DNA was found on an abandoned beer bottle.
Further charges were laid for a burglary at The Cricketers Inn, Broadwater, on April 19th this year, after he was recognized from CCTV footage.
Gibson faced additional charges for theft, property damage, and possession of cannabis at Lidl on North Street on March 17th.
He was also charged with a break-in at The Park View pub on Salvington Road on March 31st this year, with CCTV identification once again playing a key role.
On April 21st, Gibson made a court appearance at Crawley Magistrates’ Court, where he admitted guilt to all charges and was kept in continued custody.
Subsequently, on May 19th, he stood before Lewes Crown Court and received a sentence of 136 weeks in prison.
Detective Sergeant Phil Weston-Smith, of CID, said: “A considerable amount of work went into securing these charges against Gibson to ensure he could be held accountable for his actions and to protect the local business community from further harm.
“I’d like to praise the numerous officers involved in responding to these incidents, including the work of our forensic investigators who gathered valuable evidence. I’d also like to single out Detective Sergeant Gary Jacobs and Detective Constable Matt Watson, who went above and beyond to build a file to present to the Crown Prosecution Service when time was of the essence.”
Chief Inspector Sarah Leadbeatter, District Commander for Adur, Worthing and Horsham, added: “While there are a number of preventative steps businesses can take to protect themselves from crime, we acknowledge that some individuals are intent on offending. That’s why we need the public to remain vigilant and continue to report any crime or suspicious activity to us.
“Business crime can cause a huge amount of distress and inconvenience to those who are simply trying to earn a living, and it will not be tolerated.”