Burglar who left victims 'vulnerable in their own home' caught out by his footwear

Daniel James Prague, 18, broke into the property at Woodgate Lane in Weeton in the early hours of May 25.
Daniel James Prague, 18, broke into the property at Woodgate Lane in Weeton in the early hours of May 25.
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A burglar who left his victims feeling vulnerable in their own home has been jailed for 13 months after his footwear linked him to the crime.

Daniel James Prague, 18, broke into the property at Woodgate Lane in Weeton in the early hours of May 25.

The homeowners were alerted and went downstairs to find a window had been forced open and all their keys, including keys to three cars had been stolen.

Shortly after, Prague and another 18 year-old man were arrested nearby on suspicion of burglary. CCTV from a neighbouring property showed the figures of two males acting suspiciously.

Prague and the 18 year-old refused to comment on a number of questions during police interview. Their clothing and footwear were seized and they were released whilst the investigation continued.

A forensic scientist was able to analyse the pattern, the general wear and damage features of Prague’s footwear and match it to that of a footprint found at the burgled property.

He was arrested again but continued to reply ‘no comment’ in interview and was charged with burglary.

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After pleading guilty in court, Prague, of Avenue Grove, Harrogate, was sentenced to 13 months in prison at York Crown Court on Wednesday

The other 18 year-old man was released with no further action.

Detective Constable Abigail Garford of North Yorkshire Police’s Criminal Investigation Department, said: “This burglary has left the victims feeling vulnerable in their own home at a time that they were already under a lot of strain due to illness. They felt that if it hadn’t been for the alarm they had set that night, the consequences could have been far greater.

“This case demonstrates how advancements in forensic analysis are helping us to link offenders to their crime and prove their guilt, even when they continue to maintain their innocence.

“I am pleased with the sentence Prague has received and think it reflects the seriousness of this type of crime, which has a devastating impact on victims and leaves them feeling unsafe long after the initial incident. I hope this sentence offers reassurance that we are committed to bringing offenders to justice.”