‘Wimbledon Prowler’ who stole £500,000-worth of loot from affluent London homes unmasked as Kosovan chip shop owner

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A prolific thief dubbed the “Wimbledon prowler” has admitted to a spree of home burglaries spanning greater than a decade.

Asdrit Kapaj travelled from his residence in Altrincham, Greater Manchester, to commit a “sustained marketing campaign” of raids on houses within the south-west London suburb of Wimbledon Village.

The married father of-two, who owns a fish and chip store, would drive right down to the capital to hold out his break-ins at night time.

He stole £542,000 price of products – with jewelry price £371,855 taken throughout a single raid in February 2017, Kingston Crown Courtroom. 

The 42-year-old Kosovan Serb pleaded responsible to 21 counts of burglary, two counts of tried housebreaking and an additional rely of going outfitted for housebreaking when he appeared at 

The string of burglaries he admitted to, began in July 2008 and got here to a head in February this 12 months when he was lastly arrested in London.

His haul over the interval included a diamond ring and a gold necklace, in addition to 1000’s of kilos in money.

Decide Peter Lodder QC described the housebreaker as having “recognized a selected space and performed a sustained marketing campaign” of robberies.

CCTV nonetheless issued by Metropolitan Police of prolific thief dubbed the ‘Wimbledon Prowler’ (PA)

Kapaj had been suspected of making an attempt to raid the house of tennis star Boris Becker within the prosperous space which is residence to the All England Garden Tennis Membership, however that cost was not put to him.

He can be sentenced by 21 June, however prosecutors should first liaise with three remaining alleged victims together with Mr Becker, who was mentioned to have been struck by a failed try in October 2013.

Prosecutor Alexandra Boshell mentioned a lot of the proof comes from automated quantity plate recognition know-how monitoring his automotive coming down from Altrincham to Wimbledon.

Scotland Yard beforehand linked the Wimbledon prowler to 200 burglaries. However the variety of crimes introduced by the prosecution didn’t quantity to such a complete.

Captured by safety cameras sporting a fisherman’s hat on a number of of his raids, the prowler was accused of meticulously destroying safety tools on most of his burglaries.

However when he was lastly arrested on 22 February, that trademark hat appeared to have been ditched and as a substitute he was caught with a snood, a pair of gloves and a torch.

He was additionally mentioned to have been disturbed and virtually caught by house owners a number of occasions. On one event, he was reportedly chased throughout a backyard by French footballer Nicolas Anelka.

A bunch of Wimbledon Village residents, together with 81-year-old sufferer Philippa Beck, had been in court docket to rejoice his responsible pleas.

Housebreaking gang sentenced after making an attempt to rob a household residence in Solihull

Ms Beck, who was the gold watch proprietor, mentioned she was struck by “clean amazement” when she discovered that the burglar was making an almost 500-mile spherical journey to focus on her space.

His motivation, she steered, could have been “a kind of a buzz” reasonably than a necessity for cash.

Laurie Porter, chairwoman of the Wimbledon Village Safer Neighbourhood Panel, mentioned residents are “sleeping extra simply” now the person “creeping round our gardens and our streets” is in custody.

“I’m thrilled we don’t have to fret about this man wandering the streets of Wimbledon Village for the foreseeable future,” she added.

Extra reporting by PA

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