Man jailed for two years and eight months for burgling Tesco stores in Andover, Portsmouth and the New Forest
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Aaron Morgan, has been jailed for 32 months
Aaron Paul Morgan, aged 29, of Sydney Avenue, Hamble-Le-Rice was jailed for 32 months on Thursday 8 October 2020 at Southampton Crown Court after pleading guilty to two counts of burglary and one of attempted burglary in after three Tesco Express stores were targeted across Hampshire last year.
The following stores were targeted overnight on August 17 and October 1, 2019. Tesco Express, Charlton, Andover on August 17 Tesco Express, Farlington, Cosham on October 1 Tesco Express, Brockenhurst on October 1
Morgan acted as part of a group and targeted these stores in the hours of darkness using a sledge hammer to smash through security systems in attempts to steal cash.
Morgan’s spree started when he bought a sledge hammer from B&Q Hedge End at 8.25pm on August 16, 2019. Hours later, on August 17 at 4.05am, CCTV footage obtained by the investigation team showed Morgan and three other unknown men gaining entry to the Tesco Express in Charlton, Andover. A sledge hammer was used to smash out cash boxes from behind the till area. It is believed Morgan made off with around £1000 and caused considerable damage to the store in the process.
Officers working on the case established that a Ford Fiesta had been used in the burglary. On August 18, officers sighted the vehicle in Hamble and signalled for it to pull over but the vehicle failed to stop. After a short pursuit, the occupants of the vehicle stopped and ran off, leaving officers to recover the car and forensically examine it. It was discovered the vehicle had a tracker which showed where the car had been, specifically between Morgan’s home address, B&Q and the Tesco Express.
Once arrested for the burglary, Morgan then admitted to police that he was also responsible for an attempted burglary at the Tesco Express in Farlington, Portsmouth on October 1 at 3.07am. The CCTV from the store showed three men trying to gain entry but without success.
Morgan also admitted to being involved in a burglary at Tesco Express in Brockenhurst, again on October 1, which occurred at 4:40am. CCTV footage from the store showed a yellow Nissan Juke and white Renault Kangoo driving past the store a number of times before parking up. It is agreed that same three men seen on CCTV earlier at the Tesco in Farlington, were also involved in this offence. They smashed the main entrance glass with a sledgehammer and all three entered the store. Again, like in Andover, they used the sledgehammer to try and remove the cash boxes behind the till, but this time they were unsuccessful. The men left empty handed and made off in the small white Renault Kangoo van.
Just minutes after the offence, officers from Lyndhurst sighted the van travelling towards Lyndhurst from Brockenhurst. The van failed to stop, but instead crashed into a brick wall of a residential property in Sandy Lane, Lyndhurst. The occupants then made off on foot into the grounds of a residential property. One of our trusty, furry friends was then deployed to help us search. The dog soon found Morgan hiding in the rear garden of a home on the High Street. We recovered the Renault Kangoo and within that we found a petrol disc cutter, sledgehammer and crowbars.
Yesterday, Morgan was jailed for 32 months.
Detective Constable Paul Beasley from the Operation Hawk Team based at Southampton Central said:
“These crimes have a significant impact on the local areas which these stores serve. This is in addition to the financial impact it has on Tesco and emotional effect on its employees. Those taking part in such criminal activities show a dedication to a criminal lifestyle and it’s clear that they have no regard to how their actions affect the wider community.
"Morgan did all he could to avoid us. He used hire cars or vans which he purchased and then did not register with the DVLA, and used cloned number plates to disguise. He then used tools he purchased especially for these offences and as well as gloves and face coverings to prevent him from being identified by CCTV.
"Ultimately, Aaron Morgan’s undoing was his failure to realise that the hire car he was using was fitted with a tracker. This essentially left a breadcrumb trail from his home address in Hamble, to B&Q in Hedge End were he purchased a sledgehammer and then on to Andover where both he and the sledgehammer were used in a commercial burglary.
"This case demonstrates how technological improvements in all our everyday lives can assist us in bringing those responsible for serious and organised crime to justice."