Jail for burglar caught on CCTV

Ben Cooper was caught on CCTV at a petrol station.

Ben Cooper was caught on CCTV at a petrol station. - Credit: Archant

A burglar - caught on camera putting fuel into a car he had just stolen - has been jailed.

Ben Cooper, from Godmancheter, in custody after he was arrested.

Ben Cooper, from Godmancheter, in custody after he was arrested. - Credit: Archant

Ben Cooper, 25, from Godmanchester, broke into a house in Lucks Lane, Buckden, via a side door at just before 2.45am on September 6.

Once inside, Cooper and a teenage accomplice took the keys to a Land Rover Discovery and Seat Leon and stole them from the driveway minutes later.

The Land Rover’s tracking device was automatically activated and showed it travelling to a Shell garage in Godmanchester.

By the time the car’s owner realised the vehicle had been stolen, the tracker was showing it as being parked in Alexandra Road, Walthamstow, London.

Officers from the force and the Metropolitan Police both attended the London location on different days and neither car was found there. According to the Land Rover’s tracker this was the last known location of the car.

CCTV from the Shell garage in Godmanchester was recovered and showed, at 2.54am, the Land Rover pull into a petrol pump space with the Seat being driven behind.

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Both Cooper, of Bascraft Way, Godmanchester, and the teenager filled their cars with petrol for just 30 seconds each before paying in cash and leaving the site.

The ANPR system identified both cars on the M11 at Duxford at 3am and 5am, and the Seat Leon in Waltham Cross at 9am.

CCTV images of the two men were shared and both were identified by Metropolitan Police officers.

Cooper was arrested at his home at just before 8am on 24 October. A Lacoste beanie hat and gloves were found at his home, which matched the ones pictured on CCTV.

The items were found in the living room in a box which contained disposable plastic gloves, a hammer, hack-saw, multi-tool and other tools.

A previous custody photo of Cooper from this year also revealed him to be wearing the same clothes as in the most recent CCTV footage.

Cooper pleaded guilty to burglary and theft of a motor vehicle at Peterborough Magistrates’ Court on October 26.

His case was committed to Peterborough Crown Court for sentence on December 8 where he was handed a total of 56 months in prison.

DC Henry Longhurst, who investigated, said: “Cooper has a previous conviction in 2016 for conspiring to steal motor vehicles. He was involved in an Organised Crime Group (OCG) which stole seven Range Rovers and two Land Rovers between September 2014 and December 2015.

“This recent conviction shows he hasn’t learned his lesson and he will now be spending his Christmas behind bars.

“Burglary is a priority for the force and we will not waver in our efforts to bring perpetrators to justice.”