Police warn motorists about Portsmouth’s worst car criminal

CRIMINAL Chris Walker
CRIMINAL Chris Walker
Picture: Malcolm Wells

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One-man crimewave Chris Walker has broken into more cars in Portsmouth in the last decade than anyone else.

He has clocked up 177 crimes and has been jailed 20 times.

WARNING Sergeant Rob Sutton with posters warning motorists about prolific thief Chris Walker.  Picture: Ian Hargreaves  (121184-1)

WARNING Sergeant Rob Sutton with posters warning motorists about prolific thief Chris Walker. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (121184-1)

But despite being given an unprecedented five-year anti-social behaviour order banning him from every car park on Portsea Island, Walker is back to his old tricks.

He has now received 40 hours of community service for breaking into two more cars – a sentence one victim has branded ‘ridiculous’.

The maximum penalty magistrates could have given him was six months in jail and a £5,000 fine – or seven years in prison if sentenced in the crown court.

Now police have launched a fresh campaign to warn motorists about Walker. Detective Constable Chris Dinenage said: ‘Chris Walker is prolific and people need to watch out for him. We need to warn people about him. He is the most prolific vehicle offender in Portsmouth and he has been for the last 10 years.’

He added: ‘Walker is a callous individual who has no regard for the suffering he causes. He will attack cars at all times of the day stealing anything left on show such as bags and sat nav cradles and he is aware that most motorists will hide valuables in the glove box and under their seats.

‘Car crime is often perceived by many as a minor offence however this couldn’t be further from the truth. When your vehicle gets broken into not only do you have the inconvenience and cost of repair and replacement but it is also an invasion of privacy as the items stolen can contain some very personal information or photos.

‘Please try to prevent yourself becoming a victim of crime by securing your car and remove anything of value. Walker travels around the city using a pushbike and he will normally wear a hoodie to hide his face. I would ask everyone to be aware of Walker’s picture and report any suspicious activity to the police.’

Walker, 27, of Sackville Street, Southsea, was caught after stealing a laptop from a student’s Ford Ka in Belmont Street, Southsea.

Police found glass traces on his jumper matching the broken driver’s side window. He targeted the other car in Nelson Road, Southsea.

Walker admitted two counts of theft from a motor vehicle at Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court.

One victim, a 20-year-old University of Portsmouth student, who does not want to be named, said: ‘For the number of convictions he has and what he has done the sentence seems absolutely nothing. It’s ridiculous.’

Police are putting more posters of Walker up in car parks warning them to beware.

They were issued in February 2010 when he received the five-year car parks ban. Walker, who breaks into cars to fund his drug addiction, has repeatedly breached the order.

Only last month he was given a six-month suspended sentence and community service after being found in the car park behind Debenhams in Commercial Road, Landport.