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Jail for prolific burglar caught sleeping in 21 year-old woman’s home in York

Posted on in Burglary, News stories

A prolific burglar who broke into the home of a 21 year-old woman in York has been jailed for six years.

Stephen Ambrose Woodall, 45, pleaded guilty to one count of burglary and one count of aggravated burglary with intent to steal in relation to the incident in Maplehurst Avenue in York on 29 May.

At about 8am that morning, the victim, who had been at home alone, was woken by strange noises coming from downstairs in her home. When she went downstairs, she found Woodall asleep on her living room floor.

When police arrived, Woodall was still asleep when officers found him to be in possession of a kitchen knife.

A key to the victim’s garden gate, which had been inside the property, was also found in Woodall’s pocket. A suitcase and carrier bag, which did not belong to the victim or her housemates, were also located in the kitchen.

The bags contained a number of items including a compressor and a DVD player that belonged to the victim’s housemates, in addition to a lock picking kit and some designer perfume.

Woodall was arrested at the scene and the knife and the other items were seized.

During interviews he claimed that he believed the property was the home address of an associate but was charged to appear at court.

This week, Woodall of Clarence Street, York, appeared at York Crown Court where he admitted the offences. He was sentenced to a total of six years.

Investigating Officer, Detective Constable Allison of North Yorkshire Police’s York and Selby Investigation Hub said:

“Woodall came up with an elaborate story in his interviews as to why he was in the property and had come to be in possession of the knife.  However, his attempts to maintain his innocence proved unsuccessful and I am pleased that he eventually admitted his guilt.

“Being burgled is terrifying and can leave victims frightened for a very long time and I’d like to thank the victims in this case for their support with our investigation.

“I am extremely pleased for them that this ordeal is over and that Woodall has received such a significant sentence for his crimes.”

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: July 1, 2020