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PlayStation serial number trapped East Lancs burglar
A THIRD-TIME house raider who struck in the early hours was caught after someone tried to sell a stolen PlayStation at Cash Converters — but the victim had recorded the serial number.
Burnley Crown Court was told how Matthew Weller, 32, was arrested and finger and footwear prints left at the victim’s family home were matched to him.
He had got in through an insecure window and let himself out through the back door.
Weller, of Edmund Street, Accrington, who has a record going back to the juvenile court, is now behind bars for 876 days.
He admitted burglary at the property on Belfield Road, Accrington, in which he stole the PlayStation, a laptop computer, handbag and contents and electrical items, in April.
Charles Brown, prosecuting, said the offence took place at the home of a couple and their two children, between 5am and 6.30am, when they were all asleep in their beds.
A window at the house didn’t close properly and when the children’s mother got up at 6.30am, and went downstairs, she found their home had been targeted.
Mr Brown said a check revealed property had been stolen and police were called. On April 25, the manager of Cash Converters called the police to report someone had been trying to sell a PlayStation.
The victim had recorded the serial number and had given it to the police.
The prosecutor continued: “It is an object lesson in how useful it is to record these things.”
The handbag and contents were found at Weller’s home.
Mr Brown said the defendant was arrested that evening.
Fingerprint evidence was recovered from the point of entry at the house and was identified as being Weller’s.
Shoe marking was found inside the house and matched the pattern on the footwear the defendant had on when detained.
Weller was questioned and made no comment.
The prosecutor said in 2001, the defendant was convicted of house burglary and was jailed for 30 months.
He committed his second house burglary in July 2011. His licence on that sentence had been revoked and he had been recalled.
Philip Holden, defending, said Weller had a poor record, particularly for matters of dishonesty.
Sentencing, Judge Jonathan Gibson told the defendant: “This was at a family home, when members of the family were upstairs in bed.”
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