A burglar stole tens of thousands of pounds worth of tools from car dealerships located on the same road in Reading.

Biondino Fappiano, 41, of Barton Road, Tilehurst, appeared via live video link from prison at Reading Crown Court today (May 14).

This was in connection with a pair of burglaries targeting car dealerships.

The defendant - a former mechanic - smashed his way into the premises of the Jemca Lexus dealership in Rose Kiln Lane, Reading, on October 2, 2022.

After gaining entry, he stole a quantity of tools - and returned later on the same day for more.

Months later, on January 15, 2023, Fappiano targeted the Marshall Volkswagen dealership, located a short walk from the Lexus showroom.

Prosecuting barrister Tim Naik said the burglary had caused "relatively expensive" damage to the Volkswagen facility.

A manager at the dealership subsequently found that the thief had made off with over £10,000 of tools. The incident was captured on CCTV.

After being arrested, Fappiano pleaded guilty to three charges of burglary.

Mr Naik told the court: "He has a substantial [previous] record of acquisitive offending."

Defence barrister James McCrindell said his client was a trained mechanic, whose criminality fed a persistent drug addiction.

Mr McCrindell said: "He seems to have a chronic drug habit, which, respectfully, leads to chronic criminality."

While in prison awaiting sentencing, the defendant has sought assistance with managing his addiction. He is currently undergoing methadone treatment, and attending Narcotics Anonymous.

However, Recorder John Bate-Williams remarked that pre-sentence assessments had been 'disappointing'.

A probation officer claimed that the defendant had shown "little remorse" for the impact of his offending on the businesses involved, which suffered losses estimated in the tens of thousands of pounds.

Sentencing Fappiano, the recorder found that there was limited prospect of rehabilitation for the foreseeable future.

In the end, the defendant was jailed for three years and six months.