One of Britain's most prolific burglars, who was described as the "Wimbledon prowler", has been jailed for 14 years.
The sentencing of Astrit Kapaj comes more than a decade after he began a notorious crime spree that saw him raid almost two dozen homes in southwest London.
Kapaj got the "Wimbledon prowler" label for the way in which he targeted the affluent community, regularly travelling from his home in Altrincham, Greater Manchester, between 2008 and February 2019 to steal cash and jewellery valued at almost £500,000.
The 43-year-old would always carry out his raids under the cover of night, often arriving in his Mercedes car, before gaining entrance to properties through an open window and searching quickly and quietly for valuables.
His caution helped him evade arrest for years – he would leave many items behind to avoid arousing suspicion, including one instance in which he took £600 from a wallet but left £200 behind.
It left many homeowners thinking they had mislaid or spent the money themselves, and Kapaj – who worked at a chip shop – was also careful when it came to taking items like rings and necklaces.
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He once even repaired a damaged window frame with a pot of matching paint from a nearby shed.
Police could not find a single Kapaj fingerprint in any of the houses he looted, but he was eventually arrested in February after being caught on CCTV with a snood, a pair of gloves and a torch.
Scotland Yard had previously linked him to 200 burglaries.
Kapaj has never revealed what happened to the money and jewellery, but police believe he may have lost a large amount of the cash to gambling.
Ahead of his sentencing at Kingston Crown Court, impact statements were read out from some of his victims recalling the "devastating" impact the burglaries had on their lives.
Clare Calnan, whose home was targeted in 2014, said: "The fact that the burglar must have been in the garden watching and waiting for me was particularly disturbinRead More – Source