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Volunteers catch serial offender

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Members of volunteer security group Shomrim have helped bring to justice a habitual burglar who broke into a warehouse.

Shomrim was called by a Jewish businessman over a disturbance at his Stoke Newington premises in October. They held John Vanner until the arrival of police, who identified him as one of Hackney’s most wanted men. Officers found a crowbar down the back of Vanner’s trousers, as well as credit cards taken from the warehouse office.

The 48-year-old, of Northumberland Park, Haringey, was jailed for four years at a sentencing hearing at Wood Green Crown Court last week. The court took into consideration a total of 79 offences, including attempted burglary, affray, shoplifting and breach of a suspended sentence order. He received a three-year sentence for the warehouse burglary.

“This is the kind of thing we do on a daily basis but we do not always get the recognition,” a Shomrim representative said. “This incident happened in the middle of the night. Our members are ready to act at all times.”

Hackney Police burglary unit’s Angela Moore said: “This is a great result, not just for Hackney but for other areas where Vanner committed crimes.”

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