Wednesday, November 14, 2012
A drug addict who stole charity boxes from a Jewish school to feed his habit has been jailed for nine months.
Schneur Simmons worked as a security guard at the Torah Vodaas Primary School, in Dunstan Road, Golders Green, before he began regularly breaking in over a two-year period.
The 23-year-old used his knowledge of access codes and the school's security system to gain entry on the Sabbath, when he knew he would not be disturbed.
Simmons, of Finchley Road, Golders Green, mainly stole from charity boxes containing donations from parents and congregants of the synagogue.
In July, following a period of six months without a break-in, two thefts occurred. In each case, there was no forced entry but the school office was ransacked and the charity boxes emptied.
Simmons later told police that in that six months he had travelled to Israel to "sort his life out". On his return, his benefits were stopped and he owed money so he broke into the school again.
Officers investigating one of the July break-ins found a finger print on a charity box that matched Simmons, as well as CCTV footage showing him on the premises.
In interview, he admitted stealing from the school on numerous occasions over the two-year period.
At Wood Green Crown Court on Monday, Simmons pleaded guilty to four counts of burglary, with 11 other counts taken into consideration, all at the school.
In a statement read out in court, the principal said the damage done to the school office had caused excessive extra work in the day-to-day running of the building.
They added that, as a former employee of the school, Simmons had caused a great "misplace of trust", which was "distressing".
Detective Constable Tony Silcox said: "This was a short sharp sentence handed out to a man who had committed numerous previous burglaries from the same premises.
"Good forensic work led police to the accused. Simmons took advantage of a position of trust to steal from a vulnerable institution without regard to the consequences. Drugs played a significant role in this sad story."
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