Thief linked with £250k crime spree arrested

ONE of the most notorious young criminals in Edinburgh – wanted for around 100 housebreakings – has been caught by police.
Police have caught the 20-year-old. Picture: Julie BullPolice have caught the 20-year-old. Picture: Julie Bull
Police have caught the 20-year-old. Picture: Julie Bull

The 20-year-old was detained at his home on Tuesday night and is thought to have amassed a massive haul of stolen cars and property worth around £200,000 from break-ins across the Capital.The serial thief, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is also believed to have caused £50,000 of damage during his crime spree.

It is understood police came close to catching the burglar in recent weeks following a major operation involving helicopters but he managed to escape. He was finally apprehended at his home in north Edinburgh.

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A police source said: “This is someone we’ve been after for a while and I think all the officers involved are delighted we have brought him to book. He had given us the slip quite recently and major efforts were made to ensure he was arrested.”

It is understood the suspect had 30 outstanding court warrants when he was captured.

News of the prolific offender’s arrest comes one week after it was revealed the number of burglars being caught had soared since the re-launch of police housebreaking teams. The dedicated burglary units were controversially scrapped last April, when Lothian and Borders Police was merged into Police Scotland.

Latest figures show detection rates for housebreakers leapt to 38 per cent from just 21 per cent last year following the reintroduction of the 47-strong police unit in December.

The News previously told how homes in three postcodes of Edinburgh are the most likely to suffer break-ins.

A report on insurance claims for thefts from homes and gardens found that the EH16 area – encompassing Liberton, Cameron Toll, Craigmillar and Niddrie – suffered the second- highest rate of burglaries in Scotland. The EH9 area, taking in Edinburgh city, Marchmont, Grange and Blackford, was ranked sixth on the list.