Teenager at Leicester court admits burgling 278 homes and stealing 60 cars
A teenager has admitted burgling 278 homes and stealing 60 of his victims' cars in a criminal career which began when he was a child.
Adam Crampton, who turned 19 this month, appeared in court in Leicester yesterday to "clear his slate" by confessing that he began burgling homes at the age of 12.
He revealed the full extent of his criminal history in interviews with police officers at Glen Parva Young Offenders' Institution earlier this year, as he began a four-year sentence for robbery and burglary.
The teenager, of no fixed address, yesterday pleaded guilty to three specimen charges of burglary dating back to 2007. However, he asked for a further 278 burglaries and 60 car thefts to be taken into consideration.
One of his earliest victims, 60-year-old Sylvia Hammond, yesterday spoke of the relief of finally knowing the identity of the intruder.
Crampton crept into Mrs Hammond's home in Oakham in July 2007, and stole a laptop computer, a phone and a digital camera.
Mrs Hammond said: "It did cause great upset at the time. If he is only 19 now he must have been very young then, only a child.
"But it's comforting to know who did it and also that the police have never given up even after all these years.
"You hear that a lot of people in prison go back to their old ways when they are released. I just hope he doesn't, now that he has admitted all of these crimes."
Up to 200 of the break-ins took place in the Hinckley Road area of Leicester.
Inspector Andy Parkes, commander of Hinckley Road police station, said: "Victims want to know that someone has been caught and held responsible for crimes committed against them. This man was very young when he began and has been prolific.
"One of the aims of the criminal justice system is to help people turn their lives around and hopefully this is the beginning of that process for him."
Crampton appeared before Leicester magistrates by video-link from Glen Parva yesterday.
Prosecutor Ian Johnson told the court: "He was sentenced to four years in March this year for offences of robbery and dwelling house burglary.
"He was visited by police officers and he indicated he wanted to clear up all of his outstanding crimes."
Crampton's lawyer, Steve Morris, told the court: "He has volunteered the information to get things cleared up and he wants to do this as soon as possible."
Crampton is due to appear in person at Leicester Magistrates' Court on Tuesday to be sentenced.