Honeytrap plot nets burglars

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TWO young burglars have been jailed after falling for a police “honeytrap”.

Officers equipped a house in Wigan with electrical items and then left a window unlocked and ajar.

And shortly after midnight on June 7 this year an alarm at the house was activated and the sound of crashing and banging could be heard, prosecutor Harry Pepper told Liverpool Crown Court.

Police officers from the Greater Manchester force arrived at the scene in Grasmere Avenue, Hindley, and guided by helicopter they pursued the two intruders.

They caught one of them, 27-year-old Michael Wilde. He was arrested and his fingerprints were later found on a a DVD player in then property. CCTV had been installed in the house and this revealed Wilde and his accomplice Andrew Harris entering via the insecure window.

They were seen moving electrical items around including a flat screen television which was found just outside the door, said Mr Pepper.

Police recognised Wilde from the footage and he was later arrested.

He was on licence for previous burglary offences and has since been recalled to jail.

Jailing them, Judge Stephen Clarke said: “You burgled a house acting as a honeytrap to catch people and it wasn’t a dwelling house in the accepted sense of the word although you weren’t to know that.”

Harris, of Chatham Street, Ince, who has three previous burglary convictions, was jailed for 12 months and Wilde, of Clevedon Drive, Highfield, Wigan, received nine months.

They both pleaded guilty to attempted burglary.

William Swalwell, defending, said that Harris has two children with his partner and wants to make something of his life.

“He is disappointed he fell into the trap set up by the police,” he said.

Wilde’s lawyer, Ian Morris, said that Wilde had only been released from prison for a month before the offence.

They had not forced their way into the property and no items were taken away.