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A Wisbech man taunted police with the gingerbread man rhyme before being sent to prison yesterday

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A man who taunted police with the gingerbread man rhyme during a nine-week crime spree has been sent to prison.

Guiseppe Depaulo (34), of Wisbech, called a police station after being released from custody in April to tell them: "You can't catch me, I'm the gingerbread man".

Depaulo originally came to the attention of officers on March 9 when he was caught stealing number plates from a car on CCTV.

Guiseppe Depaulo in custody. (50354548)
Guiseppe Depaulo in custody. (50354548)

Later that month, he filled his car up with £120 worth of petrol at Tesco in Wisbech after removing number plates from another car and using them to replace his own. He then left the store without paying.

Later on the same day, he repeated the feat by filling up another car with £125 of petrol while using another car's plates.

Just two days later, Depaulo drove his ex-partner's car to Tesco while disqualified. He was spotted on CCTV on three occasions leaving the store without paying for goods worth over £800; these included a 40-inch TV, a sound system and two vacuum cleaners.

After stealing yet more number plates on April 3, he was confronted by Tesco's store manager before he drove away. CCTV footage revealed he had removed the security devices from two vodka bottles and stolen them from the store.

Five days after that, Depaulo, of Fundrey Road, spat at a driver during a bout of road rage; just 72 hours later, he was arrested for drink-driving after a collision at Oxney Road in Peterborough.

He was taken to Thorpe Wood Police Station, where he was verbally abusive and refused to give a specimen of breath for analysis.

Upon his release from custody, he called the station to make his gingerbread man taunt.

Depaulo damaged his ex-girlfriend's car and damaged it on April 26, and did the same again one month later.

The following day, he became embroiled in an argument with a taxi driver about a fare and kicked the vehicle's rear wing mirror, damaging it in the process.

The taxi driver contacted the police and showed them to Depaulo's house, where he was arrested and found to be in possession of a bag of cocaine.

He was later charged with 14 offences; they included failing to provide a specimen for analysis, three counts of theft from a motor vehicle, four counts of making off without payment, theft, attempted theft, two counts of criminal damage, common assault and possession of Class A drugs.

He admitted the offences at a previous hearing and was jailed for two years at Cambridge Crown Court yesterday (August 17). Depaulo was also disqualified from driving for three years.

PC David Lovitt, who investigated, said: "This was a shocking set of offences by Depaulo who thought he could escape justice for what he had done. He was wrong.

"His actions were nothing short of brazen and horrible, and I hope the jail term gives him time to reflect on his behaviour."

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