News Man caught with stolen car after it had been disabled
A BURGLAR was caught red handed pushing a stolen car down the street after the company that had fitted a tracker immobilised the vehicle and sent police to the scene.
When officers searched Dwain Matthews’s home they found property from that burglary – as well as two others. Despite that, and CCTV evidence of him using a bank card from one of the raids, he denied carrying out the burglaries.
It was only on the day of his trial at Warwick Crown Court that he finally pleaded guilty to all three burglaries and to taking the car without consent.
Matthews, aged 34, of Tarquin Close, Willenhall , Coventry, was jailed for three years and seven months, and was banned from driving for two years and one month on Tuesday, March 27.
Prosecutor Paul Mytton said the offences involved three night-time burglaries of houses when the owners were inside – including one where a child was at home.
He was also charged with relation to the use of bank cards taken in two of the raids, as well as the taking of the car.
Mr Mytton said Matthews got into a house in Crossway Road, Finham, Coventry , through an unlocked door on October 22.
He stole a Kindle, a driving licence, and a bank card from that address.
In the early hours of the same morning he burgled a house in nearby Green Lane and stole a tablet computer, a wallet and its contents and car keys, although the car was not taken.
Twenty-four hours later Matthews got into a house in Burns Road, Stoke , Coventry, through an insecure groundfloor window, and stole a laptop, a wallet, a sat-nav and the keys to a Vauxhall Corsa which he also took from outside. But the Corsa was fitted with a tracker device, and as soon as he discovered the burglary, the owner contacted the tracker company. They immediately immobilised it and alerted the police to its location in Tarquin Close – and when officers arrived they saw Matthews and another man pushing it down the road. The other man got away, but Matthews was arrested, and when his home was searched they found almost all of the property from the three burglaries. The police subsequently recovered CCTV footage of him using one of the bank cards, and of him trying the door of a house next to one of the burgled addresses in the middle of the night.
But Matthews, who had previous convictions for domestic burglaries, made no comment when he was interviewed and denied the offences when he first appeared in court, added Mr Mytton.
Richard McConaghy, defending, said: “He has had the good sense to enter a guilty plea today. It’s perhaps regrettable he hadn’t done so earlier. It would seem that on each of these burglaries, entry had been gained by an insecure door or window.”
But Recorder Graham Huston commented: “These are not chance opportunistic burglaries, this is a man going out at night looking for places to burgle.”
Mr McConaghy said Matthews had worked on-and-off as a roofer since leaving school at 15, but became involved in taking class A drugs in his 20s, and has been trying to get on drug courses since being remanded in custody. “He accepts it must be an appalling situation to wake up in the morning and find your premises has been burgled, and he knows he’s facing a period of custody today,” he added.
Jailing Matthews, who had also given an address in Cope Arnold Close, Longford , Recorder Huston told him: “I have to sentence you for three offences of domestic burglary.
“Each is a night-time burglary, and each was of premises occupied by at least a husband and wife and, in one case, a child.
“Somebody who targets houses in the middle of the night does of course take the risk of there being present a child or elderly people or somebody else with a vulnerability, and the risk of a confrontation with a child or elderly person is significant.
“Fortunately, in your case there was no confrontation. Had there been, the sentence would have been significantly aggravated.”