Burglars behind bars after a spate of office break-ins


Two burglars responsible for a spate of break-ins across City offices have been jailed in the space of a month following a police crack-down on thieves targeting multi-occupancy office blocks.

Richard Tobin, 48, was sentenced to 32 months behind bars last week after he was found guilty of four counts of burglary, one count of attempted burglary and racially abusing a security guard who caught him trying to break into a property.

Meanwhile, Terry Sawyers, 39, was sentenced to 16 months in prison in April after pleading guilty to two counts of burglary at the Central Criminal Court.

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Richard Tobin and Terry Sawyers have been responsible for a spate of office break-ins across the City.

The arrests followed police warnings for businesses to be more security savvy, after spike in office break-ins in March pushed the year-on-year burglary figures for the Square Mile up by 110%.

There were 38 burglaries reported to police in March, more than double that of February figures and the most of any one-month period over the year.

Both men specifically targeted multi-occupancy buildings in the City, and once in the premises, attempted to force open numerous doors of different offices through unsophisticated methods which were captured on CCTV.

Police released footage of Terry Sawyer both succeeding and failing to gain entry to an office to highlight how strong security measures can protect businesses from break-ins.

Police have said the main methods of entry being used by criminals are: targeting insecure or weak entry points; forcing open magnetic lock doors; tailgating (when criminals follow staff into secure areas); or a combination of all three.

They are advising businesses that magnetic doors should only be used as an access control measure when the office is occupied with additional security needed out of hours, and encouraging staff of City premises to challenge anyone trying to gain access to the building who they do not recognise.

Detective Sergeant Jonathan Ball of the City of London Police encouraged businesses to work with officers to tackle burglary and theft in the Square Mile and prosecute those responsible.

“While some of our crime prevention advice may seem obvious, it is essential businesses don’t become complacent,” he said.

“Simple things like regularly testing security doors to check the magnets or locks haven’t worn can make a big difference, as well as checking CCTV cameras are functional so if a burglar is successful, we have a way of identifying them.”