A man and a woman who stole $20,000 worth of perfume after ramming a van into a store’s entrance two years ago are now serving jail sentences.
Smashing the vehicle into the store caused about $18, 000 in damage, according to Wiltshire Police in the U.K.
Michael Denyer, 33, and Christina Colton, 44, both of Bristol, were sentenced on July 6 at Swindon Crown Court for causing material damage and stealing property from a Boots store in Trowbridge, some 90 miles west of London, on June 23, 2019.
Denyer will be jailed for three years, according to a press release from police, and Colton will be jailed for two years and nine months, which includes sentencing for this incident and for twice failing to surrender to custody.
The early morning heist was captured by the store’s security cameras, which showed a Ford Fiesta van being driven into the front of the store, and Denyer and Colton both getting out of the vehicle wearing balaclavas, concealing their identities, the police statement says.
“They broke into cabinets to steal a total of £15,221 ($20,990) worth of perfume and aftershave before returning to the car and fleeing the scene.”
The Boots store closed temporarily due to the damage.
Police recovered a purse that contained Colton’s identification at the scene.
Denyer was arrested the following evening in Bristol. Police said they found evidence on his phone and the store’s surveillance camera on the day of the incident where he is seen conducting reconnaissance ahead of the burglary that proved the crime was pre-planned.
“Colton has repeatedly tried to evade justice for this crime and there have been warrants out for her arrest since she previously failed to appear for court hearings,” said Detective Constable James Gatherum from the Central Criminal Investigation Department.
“Denyer has remained in prison for an unrelated offense, since being charged for this burglary.
“Today’s sentencing marks the end of a very long journey since the incident happened, but after a great deal of evidence gathering and delays caused by Colton, I am happy to see both defendants receive lengthy prison sentences,” Gatherum said in the press release.
Wiltshire, where the crime occurred, is among the top 10 safest counties in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, according to the Crime Rate website in the U.K. “The overall crime rate in Wiltshire in 2020 was 52 crimes per 1,000 people, and the most common crimes were violence and sexual offenses, which happened to roughly every 23 out of 1,000 residents,” the site said.
(Edited by Judith Isacoff and Matthew B. Hall)
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