Stourbridge "one man crime wave" jailed for 22 months

A STOURBRIDGE drug addict who broke into more than 100 cars in the area and got away with property worth £32,500 has been jailed for 22 months.

Dale Mowat, described as a "one man crime wave", brought misery to countless families during his two-year law breaking spree, Wolverhampton Crown Court heard.

The 25-year-old, who already had 58 previous offences on his record, was bailed after raiding the Stourbridge Childrens and Family Centre - Edward Soulsby, prosecuting, said.

And it was then that he began stealing goods from cars all over the Stourbridge area leaving more than 100 victims in his wake.

Mowat, who was spotted stealing "junk" from a portable cabin at the centre, told police after his arrest: "I am fitting out my new flat. What's the problem?”

Then, after being released on bail, he went to a house in Stourbridge Road, Lye, where he asked the female occupant to order him a Chinese takeaway - a request she refused.

The woman then spotted him stealing from a neighbour's car and when he tried to get away she grabbed one of his legs, the court was told.

She bravely refused to let go, added Mr Soulsby, and Mowat managed to struggle free but he lost one of his shoes and he was arrested when he returned to the scene moments later.

He then took police on a drive around the area pointing out spots where he had raided cars and he confessed to a string of crimes the officers knew nothing about, Mr Soulsby said.

Mowat, of Ridge Road, Stourbridge, admitted seven specimen charges of stealing from vehicles, two of attempted theft and one of burglary.

The father-of-one further asked for a another 94 offences involving the theft and attempted theft of property from cars to be taken into consideration.

Recorder Mark Wall QC told him the offences represented a determined course of conduct but added: "I must bear in mind the police did not know of many of these crimes and, without your honesty, they would have remained unsolved."

Paul Hiatt, defending, said Mowat had pointed out to police the location of all the offences he had committed and told officers all the goods he took had been sold to buy drugs and alcohol.

But after his arrest he had decided it was time to "clean the slate" adding: "His future plan is to stay drug free. He wants to leave the Stourbridge area and start afresh.

"He wants to work as a drug counsellor to help young people and in the past he has done good work with the Princes Trust."

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