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Watch as a heartless burglar is arrested in his own bed after robbing OAP neighbour
26 February 2020, 09:46
Northumbria Police have released footage of the arrest of a heartless burglar who was jailed for targeting a vulnerable pensioner who lived on his street – and then brazenly used his card to buy new clothes.
Mark Whitfield, 40, has been jailed after he committed the burglary in Blaydon to feed his drug addiction.
The court heard the drug addict walked into the home of a 73-year-old neighbour in August last year asking to borrow some fabric softener.
While he was inside Whitfield swiped a door key to the property.
Weeks later the elderly occupant woke up to find that his house had been ransacked by an intruder as he lay asleep upstairs.
A wallet containing £140 had been stolen along with more than £60 in loose change.
Later that day he was informed by his bank that a card from his wallet had been used to buy £26 of clothing at a sports shop in the Metro Centre.
Northumbria Police’s team of "burglary hunters" launched an investigation and reviewed CCTV that showed Whitfield using the card to purchase clothing.
They visited his address and found him wearing the same North Face t-shirt he had purchased using the stolen card that day.
He was arrested and admitted using the stolen key to enter the address and ransack the property so he could feed his drug addiction.
Now Whitfield, of Crocus Close, Blaydon, has been jailed for 12 months after appearing at Newcastle Crown Court on February 7.
Following the case, Detective Sergeant Dave Lumsden said: “This is a despicable offence that has seen a prolific thief target the home of a vulnerable neighbour.
“He has sneaked into the house in the dead of night to commit the burglary before brazenly using a bank card to purchase a haul of goods the very same day.
“Whitfield did show some remorse in interview and told police he committed the offences to feed his drug addiction.
“However, that is no excuse to commit crime and we are glad that a judge has deemed it fit to put him behind bars where he can try and turn his life around.
“We will continue to work hard to put prolific thieves before the court and I hope another burglar behind bars reassures residents across the Force area.”
After using the stolen card, Whitfield was also seen on CCTV driving away from the Metro Centre after in a Vauxhall Corsa that belonged to his mother.
However, he was disqualified from getting behind the wheel so was charged with driving whilst disqualified as well as burglary and two counts of making a false statement.
As well as the prison sentence, he was handed a two-year driving ban, a five-year restraining order and made to pay a victim surcharge of £149.