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PizDoff
1/30/2008 5:43pm,
North Lynn thief had martial arts weapon

A MAN syphoned large amounts of heating oil from outdoor tanks at houses in the area, Lynn magistrates heard on Friday.
Martin Williams (43) of 30 Raby Avenue, North Lynn, used two cars he was not insured to use to steal the oil between December 12 and January 4.

Yvonne Neill, prosecuting, told the court that when police arrested him, they also found nunchucks a weapon comprising of two wooden poles and a chain, used in some martial arts in the car he was driving.

Williams pleaded guilty to all seven charges three counts of theft, two counts of driving without insurance, driving other than in accordance with licence and possessing an offensive weapon.

He was given a 12-week prison sentence, suspended for one year and 120 hours of unpaid service.

Williams was also ordered to pay 891.52 in compensation for the heating oil and was disqualified from driving for one year.

Ms Neill said that on December 23, Williams took oil from an outside tank at a house in Terrington St Clements.

She said a neighbour watched him as he came into the drive in a Hyundai car and began to syphon the fuel from the tank.

Ms Neill said there were two further offences of fuel theft, which took place in Lynn.

Giles Debenham, for Williams, said personal circumstances had played a part in the crimes.

"There were severe problems within his relationship," he said.

"He was, to all intents and purposes, fundamentally homeless and, reading between the lines, living in his car."

Mr Debenham described Williams as a proud and resourceful man who had always paid his way in life.

"His current separation from his partner has hit him very hard indeed," he said.


"The defendant is driven by the circumstances in which he finds himself."

The case came in the same week that Norfolk Police issued a warning about a spate of heating oil thefts in the county, related to rising prices.

There have been 36 reported thefts of the oil in Norfolk since the start of the year and police are calling for residents, farms and businesses to be on their guard.

"Thieves will want to put their vehicle as near to the tank as possible, so trying to prevent this is one way to reduce the risks," a police spokesman said.

"By ensuring that the tank is placed in such a position that access to it can be restricted when the premises are unoccupied will reduce the opportunity."

Other advice issued by the police includes moving the tank to somewhere more visible, such as the front of the house and, in the case of businesses, fitting alarm systems to the tanks.

http://www.lynnnews.co.uk/news/North-Lynn-thief-had-martial.3720947.jp

No information on what outfit he was wearing at the time.