A CALLOUS thief has been sent to a youth offenders institute for three years for a series of burglaries in Solihull − after he was found hiding at a seaside campsite.
Lewis Tilley was wanted in connection with three house raids in a matter of weeks, including one at a family home in Dorridge on April 22 where a computer and sentimental jewellery was stolen.
Detectives identified the 19-year-old as a suspect when officers responding to a 1am call for help in Rashwood Close, Hockley Heath, in March found a mobile phone that had been dropped in a garden.
Tilley also struck at a house in Coventry Road, Solihull having kicked open a wooden front door but made off after being disturbed by a neighbour.
Examination of its contacts and messages linked it to Tilley − who has 25 convictions for theft, robbery, burglary and other offences dating back to 2009 when he was just 11 − but he evaded capture despite several arrest attempts at addresses.
However, enquiries pointed to him lying low at a campsite in Brean and in June he was arrested from a car in Washwood Heath Road having been tracked heading north on the M5 from the Somerset holiday spot.
He denied the burglaries, plus a car theft in Highgate and a failed break-in at Tutnall Drive in Hockley Heath, and refused to answer any police questions.
He later admitted burglary, attempted burglary and car theft and at Birmingham Crown Court and was sent to a youth offenders institute for three years.
Det Cons Kate Fitzgerald, said: “It seems he doesn’t care who he hurts or what psychological damage he inflicts on victims. One woman awoke to find him rooting through her home − and it’s lucky children were not home when he struck at the family address.
“Tilley thought he could avoid capture at a campsite in Somerset but we found him and he’s now swapped a beautiful seaside spot for a youth offenders institute.
“We offer people like Tilley a way to escape a life of crime: with partner agencies we have programmes designed to rehabilitate offenders. But if they refuse to engage with us and continue offending they can expect to spend much of their life locked away from society.”