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Burglar jailed for four and a half years thanks to a single fingerprint

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A burglar, who was caught after his fingerprint was found on a tea caddy in one the homes he burgled, has been jailed for four years and six months.

Four and a half years for burglar thanks to a single fingerprint’ – Michael Halligan of Bramham Drive, Harrogate

Michael Halligan, 58 (pictured), has been jailed for two burglaries carried out in the space of a week in Harrogate in September 2019.

In the first, the homeowner awoke on 15 September to find his home on Cheltenham Mount had been burgled.

Halligan had forced open one of the windows to steal a car key, £140 cash from the victim’s wallet, an Accurist watch and cash from a tea caddy placed on a windowsill before exiting though the back door, leaving it wide open.

Six days later at approx. 6.20am on 21 September 2019, a homeowner on Ripon Road woke to find Halligan standing over him in his apartment. Halligan fled the scene through the same window that he’d gained entry through but not before he had rifled through the victim’s belongings in the living room.

Crime Scene Investigators (CSI) examined the address of the first burglary and lifted a fingerprint from a tea caddy at the property. Tests later revealed it belonged to Halligan.

CCTV footage captured a man of the same build as Halligan near the second burglary around the same time. Clothing worn by the person in the footage was later seized from Halligan’s home address.

He was arrested but refused to comment on a number of questions during police interviews.

After originally pleading not guilty to two counts of burglary, Halligan of Bramham Drive, Harrogate changed his plea at the start of the trail and was sentenced to four and a half years at York Crown Court on Tuesday 28 January 2020 for two burglaries.

Commenting on the sentence, Detective Constable Matthew Reeve of North Yorkshire Police’s Harrogate and Craven CID – the team that led the investigation said:

“Waking up to find you have been burgled, or even worse, to find someone standing in your bedroom is one of the most frightening experiences that can happen anyone.  This was an appalling crime committed on hardworking people for their personal possessions and money. The impact on the victims in this case has been significant, not only financially but psychologically.

“Halligan denied all knowledge and refused to take any responsibility for his crimes but thankfully, he was foiled after leaving behind a vital piece of evidence – his fingerprints.

“The sentence handed down by the judge today demonstrates the seriousness of Halligan’s offences. I hope the fact that he is now behind bars  offers some reassurance to the victims and demonstrates to our communities North Yorkshire Police’s commitment to taking criminals like Halligan 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


Last modified: January 29, 2020