News Man caught with stolen car after it had been dis­abled

Nuneaton Telegraph - - FRONT PAGE -

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.”

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