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Schoolboy’s footsteps disturb burglar – thief back behind bars

March 5, 2013, 2:36 pm

A “lifestyle criminal” with a string of burglaries to his name has been jailed for smashing into a mums house moments before she returned from the school-run with her young son.

Luke Bates hurled a brick through the kitchen window of the property in Howden Place, Kitts Green, on September 25 last year but was spooked by the youngsters footsteps as he ran home.

The 31-year-old bolted through a side gate past the startled mum, claiming he was being chased, and rode off empty handed on a bike hed dumped on the driveway.

However, despite only glancing at the intruder she was able to relay a detailed description to police who identified Bates as a suspect – and a few hours later local patrol officers spotted him nearby and arrested him for questioning.

He was later picked out by the victim during an ID parade and, at Birmingham Crown Court on Tuesday (Feb 26), was jailed for five years after a jury found him unanimously guilty of burglary.

Birmingham East Police Detective Inspector, Darren Haynes, said: “Bates is a lifestyle criminal with many previous convictions for burglary…he would undoubtedly have gone on to attempt other burglaries had he not been arrested.

“This was a frightening experience for the victim and her young son – and could have been even more traumatic had they returned home just a few minutes earlier and been inside when Bates shattered their window with a brick.

“The ladys swift 999 call and detailed description meant we could get units in the area looking for suspects; one eagle-eyed officer spotted Bates and he was quickly in police custody.”

Bates, from The Heathway in Shard End, has seven previous convictions for burglary since 1999.

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