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Home   Sheerness   News   Article

Minster burglar Aubrey Hope steals chickens 'with Afro haircuts' in bizarre crime spree on Isle of Sheppey

11 December 2013
by KentOnline reporter

Burglar Aubrey Hope has been jailed for two years

Burglar Aubrey Hope has been jailed for two years

A Sheppey burglar was caught red-handed with a pair of stolen live chickens... before claiming they had "Afro haircuts".

Aubrey Hope, 24, went on a bizarre crime spree across Minster after drinking a bottle of whiskey to drown his sorrows having just lost his job.

His crimewave, for which he has now been jailed for two years, began when he targeted a shed at the back of a property in Marian Avenue.

Spotting several chickens with what he later described as having "Afro haircuts", he broke into the pen and stole three of the birds before leaving them in a wheelie bin to collect after more break-ins.

Hope then walked to Poppy Crescent and stole three BMX bikes, a mountain bike and a screwdriver.

He discarded one of the BMX bikes as it had a puncture before stashing them back at his home in Lapwing Close.

Hope then set off for Noreen Avenue and targeted an aviary in a back garden. Using the screwdriver he had stolen from Poppy Crescent, he forced entry to the aviary and stole a cage containing canaries.

This was added to his hoard at Lapwing Close as he set off for his last burglary in the early hours of August 27.

He walked into a property in Lupin Court and took a Playstation 3, iPhone, iPad 2, wallet and cash, watch, bracelet and sunglasses - all while a couple and their two-year-old son were asleep upstairs.

Burglar Aubrey Hope claimed stolen chickens had Afro haircuts

Burglar Aubrey Hope claimed stolen chickens had "Afro haircuts"

Not content with his stolen stock, Hope planned to also steal the family's Alfa Romeo GT on the driveway.

In a bungled attempt to snatch the car, he tried to reverse out of the drive but stalled the vehicle. He got angry with himself and tried to reverse again, but accelerated too quickly and hit a neighbour's VW Polo.

"Words cannot express how sorry I am. I went back on all my morals..." - burglar Aubrey Hope

The sound of the crash woke the victim and neighbours, who saw Hope run away.

Hope was caught by officers using a mobile phone tracking app and has now been jailed for two years at Maidstone Crown Court.

Hope admitted burglary of a dwelling and asked for three further offences of burglary other than a dwelling to be taken into consideration.

He told officers during interview: "Words cannot express how sorry I am. I went back on all my morals."

DC Iain Joyce, from Kent Police, said: "This was a sorry tale in which Hope, having just lost his job, made a terrible decision that I'm sure will haunt him for the rest of his life.

"There's no doubt alcohol played a part in his decision-making that night, but it was no excuse and will be of little comfort to those victims that he targeted that night."

Maidstone Crown Court

Maidstone Crown Court

Mr Joyce added: "His intention was to steal items that he could sell on quickly and clearly had given little or no thought to those he was stealing from, particularly the family asleep upstairs when he broke into their house.

"We were able to use a mobile tracking app to locate where Hope had stashed the stolen items and arrest him nearby with further stolen items from a previous break.

"People have a right to feel safe and secure in their own home and they can rest assured that Kent Police will continue to use everything in our power to locate offenders, arrest them and put them before the courts.

"I would urge Hope to use his time inside wisely and to contemplate his actions that night and the impact it no doubt had on those affected."

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