A car dealer in Devon has been jailed for going on a two-month stealing spree in an attempt to raise funds to repay a customer who bought a dodgy car.
Dean Romain, 27, pilfered thousands of pounds worth of jewellery, antiques and other valuables from 12 houses in and around Devon. He was stopped by police for a driving offence when officers discovered stolen goods in the vehicle that linked him to the crimes.
The court heard that Mr Romain was driven to stealing out of desperation to repay debts incurred as a self-employed car trader, after he had sold a faulty vehicle to a customer, which he then had to reimburse. This illustrates the importance for any car dealer, whether running a large business or a one man operation, to ensure they have a quality motor trade insurance policy in place to help alleviate some of the potential risks involved with the trading process, including cover for such issues as product liability, professional indemnity and defective workmanship when inadvertently selling faulty vehicles.
Judge Graham Cottle at Exeter Crown Court heard that after police uncovered the goods in his car, they tracked his phone and found it had been used in all the areas where the robberies had taken place. The court heard that he had targeted affluent areas and “stole significant amounts of property with emotional and sentimental as well as monetary value”.
Mr Romain admitted to 12 burglaries and was jailed for 37 months.