Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

The Burglar Who Carried out More Than 2,600 Raids across London

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

The Burglar Who Carried out More Than 2,600 Raids across London

Article excerpt

Byline: RICHARD EDWARDS

LONDON'S most prolific burglar is facing jail today after carrying out more than 2,600 break-ins.

Norman Sinclair, 46, stole millions of pounds worth of jewellery and cash and became one of Scotland Yard's most wanted criminals.

He claimed to have donated [pounds sterling]10,000 from the proceeds of his crimes to charities and pawned jewellery so his victims could recover it.

In six years, he carried out 2,636 burglaries - more than one-a-day - across the capital.

Sinclair used his gains to fund his crack habit, but told detectives he was "deeply religious".

At one address he left a scrawled note saying, "Sorry" after noticing a crucifix on a wall. He was at caught at Dover by port authorities, and claimed he was en route to Jerusalem, where he was seeking " redemption for his sins".

Sinclair will be sentenced at Harrow Crown Court today, and faces a lengthy jail term.

He was charged with 13 counts of burglary, but decided to "clear his books" by admitting all of his previous offences.

Detectives have spent months processing every one of them across 13 London boroughs.

Sinclair listed all 2,636 in extraordinary detail and drove around in the back of a police car pointing out the addresses he had targeted.

He told officers he had a [pounds sterling]2,500a-day crack habit and at one time walked around London with [pounds sterling]100,000 stuffed into his trouser and jacket pockets.

A source said: "He spent almost everything on drugs. In crack dens, he would buy 'rounds' of crack for everyone he met."

In occasional moments of guilt, however, Sinclair took pity on his victims.

He traded in stolen jewellery at pawn shops.

To hide his own identity, he provided the name, address and birth certificate of the owner of the raided properties, which meant they were contacted by the pawn shop when the time came for the goods to be redeemed. …

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