Vic­tim went un­der­cover to con­front bur­glar who stole car

Western Mail - - NEWS -

A BUR­GLARY vic­tim went un­der­cover to con­front the man who had stolen his car and taken it for a 120mph spin.

The bur­glar, Mark Mor­ri­son, had re­turned the car to the prop­erty, but then boasted on Face­book that he had both sets of keys for the ve­hi­cle. He then tried to sell the car and a sat nav de­vice he had stolen from the house in Cross Hands, Car­marthen­shire.

Swansea Crown Court heard the home owner, after hear­ing about the Face­book post, then posed as a buyer and con­fronted Mor­ri­son in per­son and the po­lice were called. Pros­e­cut­ing, Dean Pulling said 29-year-old Mor­ri­son gained en­try to the house via an un­locked side door be­tween mid­night on April 2 and 6.45am the fol­low­ing morn­ing.

Once in­side, he stole keys, the sat nav de­vice and a phone charger. He then drove the Volvo onto the by­pass near Car­marthen.

Mr Pulling said the de­fen­dant was brag­ging on­line about the bur­glary in the early hours of April 3. His Face­book posts came to the at­ten­tion of one of the oc­cu­piers of the bur­gled house, who ar­ranged to meet Mor­ri­son incog­nito, say­ing he was in­ter­ested in buy­ing the sat nav for sale.

Once there, said Mr Pulling, the oc­cu­pier told Mor­ri­son that the sat nav was his, and that he wanted his car keys back. But Mor­ri­son told him he was sell­ing the sat nav on be­half of some­one else, so his vic­tim phoned the po­lice, and even­tu­ally the keys were re­turned.

The vic­tim and his wife said the in­con­ve­nience of not hav­ing the car was “mas­sive”, as they had been un­able to visit a rel­a­tive who had a ter­mi­nal ill­ness, and that they were wor­ried that the thief would come back. As a re­sult, the cou­ple left the house for good.

Judge Geraint Wal­ters sen­tenced Mor­ri­son, for­merly of Bethesda Road, Tum­ble, to 18 months in prison for the bur­glary and tak­ing the car with­out con­sent. He also added six points to his li­cence and, due to the fact that Mor­ri­son al­ready had eight penalty points, dis­qual­i­fied him from driv­ing for 21 months.

Judge Wal­ters, re­fer­ring to the de­fen­dant’s 71 pre­vi­ous con­vic­tions, de­scribed him as a “de­ter­mined ca­reer crim­i­nal”.

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