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Watford shop offender sentenced for multiple crimes

A man has been charged, remanded and sentenced after pleading guilty to five counts of commercial burglary – and one count of attempted burglary – in Watford last month.

Ben Kempster, 40, of no permanent address, was arrested by the Safer Neighbourhood Team on Sunday morning, August 27th.

He was identified as a suspect involved in crimes against businesses located on Watford High Street.

The first was at Dominos Pizza at 1.30am on Sunday 20 August, where Kempster forced the door open with an implement. No items were stolen but the door was damaged.

The second was at Creams Café at 4.15am on Monday 21 August, where he stole cash from the till. He returned in the early hours of the next day (Tuesday 22 August) where he stole cash from the tip box.

The remaining offences were all committed in the early hours of Sunday 27 August; the first being Popworld, where Kempster stole five bottles of champagne.

Next, he broke into the Heather and Rose health food shop where he stole the cash float before forcing his way into Hanako Japanese restaurant, however nothing was taken.

Police enquiries quickly identified Kempster as a suspect and he was arrested hours later, before being promptly charged and remanded.

He appeared at Hatfield Remand Court yesterday (Monday 28 August) where he was sentenced to four months in prison.

Inspector Dan Jones, who leads the Safer Neighbourhood Team in Watford, said: “Kempster is a prolific offender and it’s clear from his crime spree that he has a total disregard for those who own and run the businesses in our town centre.

“I’m pleased we have been able to arrest, charge and remand Kempster so swiftly, which is testament to the tenacity of all those who were involved in achieving this result.

“I hope this outcome serves as reassurance to the businesses and residents of Watford that we will always do everything in our power to capture those who target hard-working individuals in our community.”

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