If you were to step inside the mind of a burglar for a moment, you’d likely learn of a rather remarkable level of dysfunctional expertise – that is, the ability to think outside the box and compute every move.
Indeed, for most housebreakers, the job is often scrupulously planned.
Each step, from carefully entering the property, to swiftly grabbing valuables and fleeing within a few minutes, is thought out thoroughly.
Well, that is, for most burglars.
In what can only be described as a bizarre burglary, a woman from Sunderland in North East England returned home only to find a brazen burglar inside her house who not only had been wandering around the property “all day” helping himself to beers and snacks from the fridge and cupboards, but who also went on to tell the owner, “It’s not your house”.
Talk about making yourself at home – and overstaying your welcome, hey?
The incident is reported to have taken place on the evening of 13 July 2020 when the woman returned to her home to discover the burglar – identified as 33-year-old Antoni Adams – peering out through her window.
Utterly flabbergasted, the woman asked Mr Adams what on earth he was doing inside her property, to which he replied, “It’s not your house, I’ve been here all day”.
Then, in a rather audacious move, he asked the woman not to call the police.
As one would expect, the woman did, of course, call the police, all while the man managed to sheepishly escape the home in a frantic scurry.
Ultimately, it was the can of Fosters the burglar drank during his stay at the woman’s house that led to his demise.
Thanks to his DNA being left behind on the can, police were able to track down the man and arrest him.
Speaking of the burglary, Detective Chief Inspector Michelle Robson of Northumbria Police said, “This is an incredibly intrusive crime and it must have been awful for the victim to return home and catch an intruder red-handed inside her flat”.
“Unfortunately for Adams, in his desperation to get away after being disturbed, he left behind an empty can of Foster’s that he had swiped from the fridge and drunk,” Detective Chief Inspector Robson added.
“That allowed our brilliant forensic team to do what they do best – and it was only a matter of time before we could prove Adams’ involvement irrefutably.”
Detective Chief Inspector Robson warned that behaviour of this kind would not be tolerated and that authorities would “make no apology for continuing to put burglars and thieves before the courts”.
Burglar Faces Newcastle Crown Court; Court Hears He Damaged a Table and Moved A Deep Fat Fryer During Break-In
On Friday 19th February 2021, Mr Adams faced Newcastle Crown Court where he admitted to the burglary and was sentenced to 876 days in prison.
It is understood that during the incident, the man had also damaged a table and gathered up handbags and purses.
Strangely, he had also moved a deep fat fryer – perhaps hoping to make himself some hot chips.
Prosecuting the case was Joe Hedworth, who spoke of the impact on the resident.
“She said she was terrified and couldn’t stay there in case he returned, at the end of last year at least,” Prosecutor Hedworth said, news outlet Chronicle Live reports.
“She checked her handbags and purses and noticed her debit card was missing.”
Home Burglary Statistics in Australia
Burglary is understood as any offence involving unlawfully entering a house or other building to steal property.
According to recent research that delved into home burglaries taking place in Australia, from 2018 to 2019, an estimated 2.4% of Australian households experienced at least one break-in.
Despite this, however, only 77% reported the incident to the police – many not doing so because they believed there was nothing the police could do, and as such, it was futile to report the incident.
Of the reported break-ins, 73% of the households had property stolen and 49% of the households had property damaged, while in 10% of households that were broken into, the offender confronted someone.
Meanwhile, in 2015, Australia was found to have the fifth highest rate of burglaries in the world.
The four countries that had higher rates of burglary were all located in Europe and had much smaller populations.
It can take as few as five minutes for a burglar to enter a property – so, leaving the house unlocked even momentarily, can risk your property falling victim to thieves.
The most popular items robbed in home thefts include cash, laptops, wallets, handbags, jewellery, cameras, mobile phones, identification documents and even power tools.
Legal Consequences of Stealing from A Dwelling House
In NSW, it is an offence to steal property from a dwelling house, where a dwelling house is understood as any house, building, vehicle or boat which someone lives in, and includes where the house, building, vehicle or boat has no one actually living in it.
Section 148 of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) deals with the offence and states that a person who steals from a dwelling house can face a maximum penalty of 7 years in jail.
However, more substantial penalties are in place where the offence includes threatening or menacing a person inside the house in the course of stealing an item. In such cases, the maximum penalty increases to 14 years in jail.
It should be noted that the offence of stealing from a dwelling house differs to the offence of “break, enter and steal,”which involves property that is secured, such as through breaking a window in order to gain entry.
In stealing from a dwelling house offences, property has simply been entered through an open unlatched door, gate or window.
As such, under this offence, police only need to prove that you stole something from a place that is considered to be a dwelling house.
By Sahar Adatia.