Teenaged burglar hid in Plymouth wardrobe for 13 hours
A TEENAGE burglar armed with a poker hid in a wardrobe for 13 hours after being disturbed during a daytime break-in, a court heard.
At 4am, Aaron Bradley sneaked out, stole a Toshiba laptop and left the house.
But he didn't realise that the householder had installed indoor CCTV after previous break-ins to the property in Tavistock Road, Derriford.
Police were on the lookout for the hooded youngster and arrested him as he walked along the A386 between Yelverton and Horrabridge with the stolen laptop in a rucksack.
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Prosecutor David Gittins told Plymouth Crown Court that the householder returned home at 2.40pm to find the patio doors forced and items moved about within the house.
She reported the break-in to police, and CCTV showed a hooded male entering the house and picking up a poker from the lounge fireplace.
"He hid in the wardrobe for 13 hours till 4am, then stole a camera, a laptop and a small amount of cash," he said.
Mr Gittins said Bradford admitted burgling the same house, the home of his former foster-carer, three other times, on one occasion stealing electrical items and jewellery valued at £20,000.
He also admitted with another man using a bank card stolen from a woman's handbag to draw cash from her bank account.
And, while living with foster-parents, he stole the man's bank details and used them to act as a guarantor for a loan, also stealing £466 to pay for 45 mobile phone top-ups.
On June 10, he was involved in a robbery in which, said Judge Graham Cottle, "a girl was used as decoy or bait".
She contacted a man she had been friendly with at school and said she would like to see him.
He paid for her taxi to his flat, but she brought with her a group of armed, masked, hooded men, one of them Bradford.
They burst into the flat with knives and baseball bats and robbed the man of cash, his Apple laptop and his mobile phone.
Jason Beal, for Bradford, said his client was just 18, had never been before the courts before and had made full and frank admissions.
"This is terribly sad," he said.
"He has been in care as a child, been fostered by people who were kind to him and now shows contrition and remorse.
"His ambition is to join the Army."
Judge Cottle told Bradford, of Octagon Street, Plymouth: "It is unclear what underpinned this sudden spate of serious offending."
He imposed sentences totalling five years in a young offenders' institution, less 57 days spent on remand.