Published: 00:00, 07 April 2014
| Updated: 16:50, 07 April 2014
A brazen thief who rifled the belongings of children at school changing rooms in west Kent has been jailed.
Darren Dixon, 34, stole mobile phones, watches, wallets and school bags during a spree of burglaries in 2012.
On February 1 he entered the Judd School in Brook Street, Tonbridge while pupils were being taught in a sports hall.
He discovered children’s belongings in an unlocked changing room and stole from coats, trousers and bags. Pupils returned to find numerous items missing including phones, Ipods and a watch.
Days before, on January 27, Dixon had also snatched school bags, cash, credit cards and a valuable Omega Seamaster watch after he breached security at Sevenoaks School in the high street.
On each occasion Dixon loaded the stolen items into a white van and he was arrested after the vehicle was detected on automatic number plate recognition cameras.
Dixon, formerly of Browning Road, Dartford, told officers the van belonged to a neighbour. He acknowledged he was using the vehicle but initially denied any wrongdoing.
He was sentenced to 19 months in prison when he appeared at Maidstone Crown Court on Tuesday, April 1.
He eventually pleaded guilty to three counts of burglary last month, after also admitting a break-in at a property in Gravesend on 26 June last year.
He admitted a further offence of dangerous driving.
Dixon was sentenced to 16 months for the burglaries and three months for dangerous driving. He was also disqualified from driving for a year.
Detective Constable Laura Pallet, who led the investigation, said: “Dixon entered areas which were clearly prohibited to him and then stole from children.
“These offences will have been very upsetting for the pupils, who returned from lessons to find their bags and clothes had been gone through and in some cases even taken.
“Hopefully his victims can at least take comfort from the fact that Dixon is now paying for his actions behind bars.”
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