Halifax home owner uses fake safe to catch burglars after earlier raid at home

David Jowett and Jared Whitehouse have been jailed
David Jowett and Jared Whitehouse have been jailed

A burglary victim who feared his Halifax home would be broken into again left an empty safe on his stairs as "a decoy".

The householder's plan worked when his semi-detached house was targeted for the second time in two days and the unsuspecting intruders grabbed the safe.

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One of the burglars David Jowett, 37, was jailed for 32 months after he cut himself on broken glass and left his blood at the scene.

Wyke man Jowett, who had previous convictions for house burglary, was arrested last June and he admitted to police that he had been told there "a safe full of cash" at the property.

Jowett's accomplice 23-year-old Brighouse man Jared Whitehouse was known to the householder and Bradford Crown Court heard that two days before the safe was stolen Whitehouse had broken into the house during the night.

Prosecutor Phillip Adams said the complainant had been at home in bed on April 6 last year when Whitehouse threw a large stone through the living room window.

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The complainant locked his bedroom door and pretended to call the police when he heard Whitehouse kicking on the door.

Whitehouse left the house, but two days later he returned with Jowett and an unknown woman who initially tried to get the complainant to open his front door by claiming that she had run out of petrol and needed a taxi.

The complainant, who had two friends in the house with him, refused to open the door and he then saw one of the men pick up a shovel and use it to smash a downstairs window.

The householder locked himself and one of his friends in his bedroom again, but another friend was still downstairs when Jowett and Whitehouse climbed in through the broken window.

"The took the safe which had been left by the complainant on the stairs in the house," said Mr Adams.

"It was something of a decoy. It was empty and left by the complainant who was fearful that the defendant would reattend at his house."

Today Whitehouse admitted two burglary charges and Jowett pleaded guilty to one burglary offence.

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The court heard that Jowett, of Westcombe Court, Wyke, had last committed a house burglary 14 years ago, but he still fell foul of the so-called "three strikes" minimum prison sentence legislation.

Whitehouse, of Blackburn Buildings, Brighouse, was jailed in January this year for 21 months for offences against a taxi driver and his new sentence of 27 months for the two burglary matters will run concurrently with his existing jail term.

Judge David Hatton QC said Whitehouse had committed the offences at night when he knew there were occupants in the house.

"The second of those was more grave in that there were a number of occupiers present who were and would have felt under threat by your conduct," the judge added.

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