Burglar's crime spree leads to 15 months in prison

Last updated 05:00 04/07/2014

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A serial burglar who once used a cat door to gain entry to a house, has been jailed.

Daniel Crotty, 17, of Timaru, appeared in the Timaru District Court yesterday on a series of charges including burglary (15 counts), attempted burglary (two counts), theft, unlawfully being in an enclosed yard and unlawfully interfering with a motor vehicle.

His offending took place between April 4 and May 25 this year. The majority of Crotty's burglary offences took place in homes where residents were sleeping.

His victims included a 90-year-old woman. He entered her flat through a door and took her handbag, bankcards and about $25.

On April 19 he started offending in Christchurch.

He found a home with an unlocked door and took a handbag and backpack while the occupant was asleep. He then went to another property where he took electronic items. Again, the occupant was asleep.

Crotty continued his offending on April 21, again targeting the Timaru area. He took a scooter valued at $300 from a Jackson St address. He gained entry to another Timaru house, by reaching through a cat door to unlock a main door, and took items. He also attempted to burgle a Grey Rd address. He shone a torch through the window, which alerted the resident, who turned a light on and chased him on foot, but lost him.

On April 25, Crotty started targeting the Invercargill area.

He found a back door unlocked, and took two external hard drives and a pair of shoes.

Judge Joanna Maze said victims had been left living in fear and horror. "You show no sign of empathy with the victims.

"You said your offending provided you with easy money.

"It was done with deliberate planning and commercial purpose." She sentenced Crotty to one year and three months in jail.

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- The Timaru Herald

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