One-man crimewave blamed for surge in housebreakings

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A COCKY criminal who boasted about how he “hates police” on his Facebook page has been caught by officers, who said he was responsible for increasing the number of housebreakings across the city.

The one-man crime spree, which saw the 22-year-old steal money, keys and cars, sparked a sharp increase in figures from April to June, which were up by more than a third.

Although the thief – who cannot be named due to active court proceedings – was not responsible for every incident, police attribute a large number of break-ins to him.

A report on the latest crime statistics pointed out that the increase in housebreakings had “altered the trend” of recent months. It recorded an increase of 34 per cent during April to June this year, taking the number of house break-ins to 679.

There was also an increase in the number of sheds and garages being targeted, with 303 break-ins – an increase of 11 per cent – over the same three-month period.

On the thief’s Facebook page, he proudly states “I HATE POLICE” and “I LOVE SMOKING THE WEED”. Last January, he boasted: “Aww u cany beat getting a not guilty like nothing to go up for nw am a free man ***** love it yasss”.

Over the three-month period, however, the man, who claims to be self-employed and is from the Granton area, was charged with around ten housebreakings and arrested for a number more.

The report said: “A known individual was identified and apprehended. We may now see a return to the decreasing trend in this area of crime.

“We have been pleased to report a continuing downward trend in thefts and break-ins. During the period April to June a number of thefts and break-ins from homes took place, which altered the trend. 
Unfortunately, we continue to report an increase in thefts and break-ins to sheds and garages.”

The same set of statistics revealed vehicle theft has gone down by 32 per cent, although theft from vehicles – including sat nav devices and laptops – is up by three per cent at 247.

Break-ins to businesses was down by 11 per cent and shoplifting was down by one per cent.

A police spokesman said: “Following a number of break-ins and thefts from properties in the south, east and west of Edinburgh during April 2012, a 22-year-old man was arrested and charged. Since then, reports of thefts from housebreakings in the Capital have fallen.

“We will continue to work alongside our partner agencies and the local communities to tackle crimes of dishonesty.”