Burglar who hit Sunderland online gaming firm Tombola had 154 previous convictions

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A SERIAL thief who targeted Sunderland businesses in a series of raids has today been jailed and branded a “menace”.

Anthony Sloanes, who has 154 convictions, burgled Tombola at Low Street in the city’s East End, three times in the space of four days.

The 42-year-old made off with workman’s tools worth £1,715 during the first raid on January 29.

He then went back the next night for a £200 electric screwdriver.

Sloanes was finally caught inside the business premises after police responded to reports of a trespasser on February 1.

At the time of the break-ins he was the subject of three deferred sentences, after raids at Learning Concept and Sunderland University’s City Space, in Chester Road.

On April 19 last year, Sloanes had taken two laptops – worth £1,800 from Learning Concept’s offices – and sold them on for £150.

On August 25, he took a laptop from City Space, which is open to the public as well as students, and was caught on CCTV searching for something to steal and lurking in staff only areas during a raid in October when he left empty-handed. Judge Roger Thorn jailed him for 23 months.

The judge told Sloanes: “You are a menace.

“Behind your drive to crime is the fact you are addicted to heroin and crack cocaine.”

He added: “The courts cannot put up with your behaviour. The result must be a custodial sentence.”

Sloanes, of Milburn Street, Millfield, Sunderland, had pleaded guilty to burglary and theft charges.

Jamie Adams, defending, said: “The backdrop to all of this is this man’s addiction to heroin, which he has struggled with for quite a number of years now.”