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Burglar's get-away van gets stuck on the beach near Sheerness Docks

A man who broke into caravans on the Isle of Sheppey was caught after his "get-away" vehicle became stuck on the beach.

Darren Baldock, 50, from south east London, tried to winch free the Ford Transit van, which he had stolen during the break-in, using a rope and pulley wrapped around a fence.

Darren Baldock (21234573)
Darren Baldock (21234573)

He failed and fled on foot. But his unsuccessful rescue attempt was caught on CCTV and the film later allowed police to identify him.

Just two days later, having been arrested and released on police bail, the incompetent burglar broke into a second caravan, and this time was caught in the act by the resident.

Baldock, of Erwood Road, Charlton, was sentenced to two years and three months’ imprisonment at Maidstone Crown Court on Thursday after pleading guilty to the offences.

The court heard that at about 5.30am on Wednesday, July 3, a burglary was reported to police where car keys, phones, cash and electronic items were stolen from a caravan at Harts Holiday Camp in Leysdown-on-Sea.

A Ford Transit van was also reported stolen from outside the property.

Later the same morning patrols were alerted to reports that the stolen van was stuck on the beach near Sheerness docks.

Officers located Baldock in the area.

"Baldock thought he could steal from others by impersonating staff and lying, without giving any consideration to the impact burglary has on victims..." - CID investigator Charlotte Lundy

He told them he worked for the caravan park and his work van was stuck on the beach.

He was wearing a jumper with the caravan park’s logo on it. It was soon established that Baldock was lying and the search of another caravan on the site resulted in the discovery of the items stolen that morning. He was arrested and later released while officers continued to investigate.

Just two days later, in the early hours of Friday, July 5, Baldock was discovered by a resident in a caravan at the Nutts Farm Caravan Park also in Leysdown-on-Sea.

This time he claimed he was a security guard and then left the property. Bank cards and cash were reported as being stolen.

Baldock was arrested a short distance from the caravan park and was found to have the items reported stolen with him. He was charged with two counts of burglary and one of theft of a vehicle and was remanded in custody.

CID investigator Charlotte Lundy said: "Baldock thought he could steal from others by impersonating staff and lying, without giving any consideration to the impact burglary has on victims.

"The fact he committed the second burglary while still under investigation for the first shows that he was determined to continue and this custodial sentence has put a stop to his criminal activities."

To get the latest updates on ongoing cases, police appeals and criminals put behind bars, click here.

Read more: All the latest news from the Isle of Sheppey


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