A burglar who stole students’ laptops and other items after blending seamlessly into university campus environments has been sentenced.
Josh Victor Page was convicted by a jury of four burglaries at the end of a trial at Leicester Crown Court.
The judge said the jurors saw through his lies in the witness box.
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The 29-year-old was found guilty of entering the Leicester University’s Maurice Shock Building, in University Road, with intent to steal on September 13.
Five days later he entered the Physics and Astronomy Building, on the same road, to steal three laptop computers the students briefly left there while they went for lunch.
Each computer was worth between £1,500 and £2,000, said Phillip Plant, prosecuting.
On both occasions he was captured on CCTV “looking the part” of a student with a rucksack on his back and went unchallenged.
Page also burgled Loughborough Grammar School, in Burtons Walk, in the town, when a pupil’s trumpet was stolen on the night of November 25.
However, it was recovered when Page was stopped by police carrying it in the street the following day.
He claimed he had found the instrument.
The defendant was also convicted of burgling a Loughborough University student’s flat on the campus in Butler Court, Towers Way, when he entered as the occupant slept, and stole £2,000 worth of possessions, including two games consoles, computer games, accessories and a rucksack, in October.
He denied the four burglaries but pleaded guilty to a fifth burglary – at Charnwood College, Loughborough, on November 9, when iPods, a laptop computer, training shoes and two wallets were stolen from changing rooms during a basketball event.
Page, of Poplar Road, Loughborough, who has 28 offences on his record including several burglaries, claimed he socialised with students in and must have left a fingerprint in the Loughborough University flat during a social visit.
Sentencing, Ebrahim Mooncey said: “Burglaries of educational establishments, colleges, schools and universities are on the increase.
“People who target those type of properties think they can get away with it.
“We’ve seen you on CCTV at Leicester University walking around with a rucksack on your back, looking the part, looking nonchalant and no-one stopping you to ask what you’re up to.”
During a recap of the offences, the judge said: “You also went to Charnwood College when Leicester Riders were playing and entered the changing rooms to take electronic goods and other items.”
“When giving evidence at trial you told a lot of tales and the jury could see through that.
“You have a horrendous record and you’re more than a third-strike burglar.”
Judge Mooncey added: “If you are genuine in your desire to change good luck to you and I hope you use your time (in custody) well and put offending behind you.”
After the verdicts were announced, defence counsel, Claire Fraser said in mitigation before sentencing: “They seem to have been opportunistic offences and he says he did hang out with and socialise with students.”
She said Page had achieved enhanced prisoner status while on remand and had undergone courses to better himself covering victim awareness and addiction.
Miss Fraser added: “He feels he has lost his way.
“He has a wonderful, supportive and hard working family that isn’t involved with the police and he feels he’s let them down.
“He wants to cease acting in a criminal way.”
Page was jailed for three-and-a-half years.