Man Jailed After Stealing From Birmingham Uni Students

21 April 2015, 12:06 | Updated: 30 March 2016, 13:50

A thief who targeted students in Birmingham's been jailed for four years.

A court was told that Ricky Woolaston disguised himself as a university maintenance engineer to gain access to accommodation in order to fund his drugs habit.

The 35-year-old from Erdington pleaded guilty to five burglaries in total.

Birmingham Crown Court was told that Woolaston, who is unemployed, committed the offences at the The University of Birmingham in January this year.

He walked around the student campus wearing clothes bearing the uni logo and knocked on the student flats under the pretence he was a maintenance engineer. Once inside, he stole electrical items, including lap tops and mobile phones.

However, Woolaston was caught out when he tried to steal from the Biosciences department of the university on January 29. He broke into the department and forced open two secure metal cupboards. Nothing was stolen, but he left behind a bag containing a police charge sheet in his own name.

Dc Jon Green from Birmingham’s acquisitive crime team, said: "Woolaston targeted students at Birmingham University in order to feed his drug habit. He wore a Birmingham University top and pretended to be a maintenance engineer in order to enter the student flats and steal electrical goods.

"Unfortunately for him, Woolaston managed to leave vital evidence behind at one of the break-ins, and we are grateful to vigilant students who were able to identify him for further burglaries. Woolaston was charged with a total of five offences, and asked for a further five burglaries to be taken into consideration. We are happy with his sentence."