A 38-YEAR-OLD man has been jailed for three years after admitting 38 offences – including 19 home burglaries in Lowestoft.

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Philip Johnson, of London Road North in the town, admitted 20 home burglaries in total, including one in Norfolk, 14 burglaries of business and club premises in the town – including burglaries at Lowestoft Town Football club in September and a burglary at a martial arts centre in Oulton Broad in March 2010 where cash and a sword were stolen – as well as four thefts from vehicles after co-operating with officers working on Suffolk Police’s Operation Converter.

Johnson was arrested by officers investigating burglaries in the town and was subsequently charged with a burglary at a home in Beresford Road in October, where a TV and jewellery were stolen, and another burglary in the same month at a flat in Alexandra Road where an iPad, digital camera and jewellery were taken.

A police spokesman said: “It was strongly suspected that he had been involved in other incidents and he agreed to talk to officers from the Operation Converter team, which works to encourage offenders to admit their crimes that are then taken into consideration at sentencing.“

The scheme aims to give victims of crime some peace of mind that the person responsible has been traced and dealt with and gives offenders a chance to clear their slate so they can have a fresh start when they are released in the knowledge that if they go on to commit further crimes they may face a harsher sentence.

Johnson admitted burglaries at homes in North Parade and Lyndhurst Road in August; at Kelly Pain Court, Ipswich Road, Lyndhurst Road, London Road North and North Parade in September and at Dene Road, Milton Road West, Beresford Road, Oxford Road, Kelly Pain Court, Station Road and Ipswich Road in October. He also burgled a home at Royal Avenue on November 1 and admitted a burglary at a home in Lowestoft High Street in May 2010.

Cash, jewellery, alcohol, laptop computers, games consoles and other electrical items were among the things taken.

He admitted burglaries at business premises in London Road North, Surrey Street, Whapload Road and Sparrows Nest in September and October and other break-ins at businesses in Cooke Road in Gisleham, Mariners Score, School Road, Sea Lake Road and Regent Road.

And he also admitted taking items from four vehicles in Whapload Road.

Det Insp Darrell Skuse, of Waveney CID, said Johnson had been targeted by officers investigating burglaries in the town.

“Johnson was arrested and charged with burglaries where we had clear evidence of him being responsible. However we suspected that he had committed more offences and through the work done by detectives, crime scene investigators and the Operation Converter team we have managed to get this result and give 20 victims of home burglaries and 14 business owners some reassurance that he has been caught.

“This shows that one offender can often be responsible for a large number of crimes without any thought for his victims and we are pleased he has been jailed.”

Johnson was sentenced to three years at Ipswich Crown Court earlier today (Thursday, December 13).

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