Police dogs and helicopter hunt for Briercliffe homes raider

JAILED: Hamza Akram (s)

JAILED: Hamza Akram (s)

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A BURGLAR who struck 26 times and was caught hiding in bushes has been jailed for almost four years.

Hamza Akram (19), who targeted remote homes in rural areas, raided three properties in one night, in Briercliffe.

Police, called because he had been trying to steal a BMW, took a wrong turn to the victim’s home, and came upon Akram coming out of a cottage nearby.

He ran through the property and out of the back, leaving a footprint in the mud, Burnley Crown Court heard.

The defendant, who was then hunted by police dogs and the force helicopter, stole from another property, in Walverden Road, before he was arrested just after 4 a.m., hiding in bushes.

He had on him £400, gloves and a torch.

The court was told Akram was on bail, a tagged curfew and licence from a 29-month term of detention when he went on the stealing expedition. He later owned up to 20 other house burglaries, two attempts and two burglaries of other premises. The defendant, of Colne Road, Burnley, a cannabis user since he was 11, admitted three burglaries and attempted theft on January 2nd, and asked for 24 offences to be considered.

He had also pleaded guilty to burgling a garage and taking a mountain bike at a property in Applecross Drive, Burnley, on December 23rd, and had been committed for sentence by magistrates. He is on recall until December, and his sentence will run consecutive to that.

Mr David Macro (prosecuting) said a resident at a farm saw two youths, one inside his mother’s BMW in the early hours, went outside and they ran off.

He called the police and, around 3-15 a.m., a sergeant on his way to the scene saw lights on at a property, and assumed that was the address he was looking for. As he got to he front door, two men, one of them Akram, came out of the front door. One ran past the officer and the defendant turned, ran back through the house and escaped into the darkness.

Miss Caroline Patrick (defending) said Akram had been taken into care when he was 11, because of his bad behaviour. He had mixed with the wrong crowd and smoked cannabis. His father would not tolerate his conduct and had turned his back on him.