Prolific burglar rumbled after nicking van from West Byfleet vets

Roy Rabbetts, 41, of Hamilton Close, Feltham -Credit:Surrey Police
Roy Rabbetts, 41, of Hamilton Close, Feltham -Credit:Surrey Police

A prolific burglar has been put behind bars after his attempts to steal a van from a veterinary surgery alerted police to his crimes.

Roy Rabbetts, 41, of Hamilton Close, Feltham, entered a veterinary surgery in West Byfleet where he told staff he was there to carry out some work in the flat upstairs, on 18 October last year.

Later that day he came down to the reception area. While staff were distracted, he stole a set of keys to one of the company vans from a drawer. He was then seen driving off in the vehicle.

Veterinary staff later received a call from their Chertsey branch saying that the van had been seen driving dangerously through the town, reversing into another vehicle.

Police then received calls from staff at a garden centre in Cobham to say the van had been seen acting suspiciously in their car park, appearing to hide from police activity. CCTV from the garden centre showed the suspect, which was later confirmed to be Rabbetts via forensic evidence from the van.

Rabbetts was arrested for burglary along with several other offences in Teddington on Monday, 27 November last year. He appeared at Kingston Crown Court last Friday (10 May) after pleading guilty to burglary. He was sentenced to 19 and a half months imprisonment.

Officer in charge of the case, PC Paul Finnegan, from the Neighbourhood Police Investigation Team, said: “It is reassuring to the victims involved and the wider community to see this prolific offender taken off the streets. This sort of behaviour will not be tolerated, and we will continue to work tirelessly to protect our communities.”

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