Man jailed for stealing rifles and ammunition from a car in Portsmouth
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A man who stole two firearms worth thousands of pounds from a car in Portsmouth has been jailed for 18 months.
Christopher Walker, 35, of Cumberland Street, pleaded guilty to two counts of theft of a firearm and six firearms offences.
Today (20 March) Portsmouth Crown Court heard how Walker had stolen two rifles from a Nissan Leaf which was parked in King Henry I Street just before midnight on November 18.
The firearms were legally registered to the owner.
Walker, the court was told, smashed the window of the car and took the rifles, which were in cases, as well as 750 rounds of ammunition.
Officers immediately deployed to the area and work to track the firearms through CCTV quickly got underway.
Walker was identified as being in the area that night and was then captured carrying the stolen property.
Further police investigations tracked Walker’s movements and discovered how he sold on the rifles to associates within 24 hours.
This led officers to recovering parts of the stolen items on November 22 in Clarence Road and the rifles on November 23, which were found hidden in the grounds of St Andrews Church on Havant Road.
These were found with other items stolen from the victim’s car. The court heard that the total value of all the items stolen was £20,000.
Walker was later arrested and pleaded guilty to two counts of theft, two counts of possession of a firearm without a certificate, two counts of possession of ammunition without a certificate and two counts of possession of a firearm when prohibited.
Today he was sentenced to 18 months in prison, and was ordered to pay a £149 victim surcharge.
Detective Constable James Southcombe said: “It was thanks to the professionalism and dedication of our officers that led to these potentially dangerous weapons being found within days.
“These weapons could have easily disappeared into the hands of criminals who would not have thought twice about using them if necessary.
“Walker didn’t give a second thought to the harm that these rifles could have caused, all he cared about was himself and what he could get for them.
“I hope this case shows that we will stop at nothing to make our communities safer for all and bring those to justice who threaten that.”