Teenage burglar had thieving tour

Last updated 05:00 06/06/2014

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A serial burglar has been convicted on numerous charges after preying on homes in Timaru, Christchurch and Invercargill - on one occasion gaining entry through a cat door.

Daniel Crotty, 17, of Timaru, appeared in the Timaru District Court yesterday on a range of offences, including burglary (16 charges), attempted burglary (two charges), unlawfully interfering with a motor vehicle, theft and unlawfully being found in an enclosed yard.

Crotty, who appeared before Judge Joanna Maze, was convicted on each charge.

His long list of offending was revealed to the court by police prosecutor Greg Sutherland.

Crotty's offending took place between April 4 and May 25 this year. The majority of his 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, bank cards and about $25 cash.

Crotty broke into numerous other homes in Timaru where he took a range of items, including electronics, alcohol and tobacco.

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.

Crotty also attempted to target a Grey Rd address. He shone a torch through the window, which alerted the resident. The resident turned a light on and chased him on foot, but lost him, Sutherland said. 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.

Crotty, who pleaded guilty to all charges, was remanded in custody to July 3 for a pre-sentence report.

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- The Timaru Herald

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