A burglar, who left his victim ‘very shaken’, has been jailed thanks to forensic evidence linking him to mobile phone footage taken by the victim.
Lee Anthony Harding, 43, (pictured), has been jailed for 4 years 6 months for burglary at an address on St Hilda’s Terrace, York in the early morning of 25 June 2019.
At around 5.15am, the victim saw a man leaving his property from a patio door directly below the balcony he was looking over and started to film him on his mobile phone.
Shortly after, he saw the man leaving a neighbour’s property carrying a laptop and called the police. Harding was arrested shortly after by officers but refused to comment during police interviews.
Clothing and footwear recovered from Harding at the time of his arrest matched clothing and footwear worn by the person in the victim’s mobile phone footage and he was charged with two counts of burglary.
Forensic evidence was later used to conclude that Harding’s clothing showed a strong association to that worn by the person in the footage.
After pleading guilty at court, Harding, of Union Terrace, York was sentenced to four years and six months in prison at York Crown Court on Wednesday 11 December 2019.
Commenting on the sentence, investigating officer PC Andrew Chapman of North Yorkshire Police’s Expedite Team said:
“I know the victim in this case was left very shaken from the shock of seeing a burglar leaving his home but I’d like to praise him for his quick thinking actions.
“His description allowed us locate and arrest Harding in just under 15 minutes and the mobile phone footage that he provided enabled us to link Harding to the crime.
“Whilst no one was hurt in this case, burglary has a devastating impact on victims and so I’m pleased with the sentence handed down today and satisfied that another burglar is now off our streets.”
What to do if you have been burgled
Ring 999 if you believe the offender is still in your house or has just run away; if not use the 101 number. You will be given a crime number to quote in an insurance claim, or if you want to contact police with any follow-up queries.
Try to preserve the crime scene for any forensic evidence that may be of use to the police. If possible, do not touch anything or allow your children or pets into the same rooms that the burglar has been in.
For more advice visit northyorkshire.police.uk/homesecurity