Mobile snaps catch burglar

Steven Mingins
Steven Mingins
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A QUICK-thinking passer-by landed a burglar in prison after snapping pictures of his escape on a mobile phone.

Steven Mingins dropped a bag of items as he struggled to climb over a fence with an accomplice following a raid on a house on Layton Road, Blackpool.

The 29-year-old, from Charles Street, drew the attention of a passing sales rep who took his picture and reported the incident to the police.

Her pictures were so good police were able to clearly identify Mingins.

A judge at Preston Crown Court locked him up for three and a half years after he pleaded guilty to burglary.

Francis McEntree, prosecuting, described how Mingins and his accomplice had forced patio doors into the house, before ransacking the bedroom and taking £600 in cash and 23 items of jewellery worth £2,000.

Mr McEntree said: “A sales rep had been to a pub on the corner, near the address, and was going back to her car when she noticed two men coming over a fence, with some difficulty.

“They dropped a bag of items. It was apparent they were jewellery boxes. Because of that and realising immediately what might have happened, she took three photos on her phone.

“The photos were of sufficient quality for police to be able to make clear identity. The other man was given a two-and-a-half-year jail term.”

The burglary occurred on January 11, and Mingins had also pleaded guilty to disqualified driving, aggravated vehicle taking, failing to stop, driving with excess alcohol, not having insurance and having a bladed article in relation to a later incident.

Defending, Peter Horgan said his client expressed remorse, particularly to the burglary victim, and had now accepted “drink and drugs are his vice” and wanted to “do everything he can to build a positive future.”

Judge Andrew Woolman also banned Mingins from driving for three years.

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