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Mad January Roundup 2018

You may have thought that the popularity of Dry January might have lead to clearer heads and more sober decisions over the last 31 days – but that certainly hasn’t been the case among Britain’s criminal element. Up and down the country, bungling burglars have been botching jobs left, right and centre, so here’s a rundown of the more chortle-worthy from the past month.

It’s hammer time

An 18-year-old yob tried to hold up a newsagent at hammer-point in South Wales this month, only to scarper empty-handed after being easily disarmed by the female shopkeeper. Keiron Harley waltzed into his local shop in Bargoed with a 12-inch hammer in his hand and a scarf over his face. Undeterred by this display of bravado, 22-year-old Naomi Price unceremoniously wrenched the implement out of his grasp and sent the little blighter packing.

Harley scampered out of the shop but was quickly picked up by the local boys in blue, who gave him a lift down to the cells for his troubles. Despite pleading drug addiction and mental health issues, Harley was handed a cool 26-month sentence in the slammer, along with a five-year restraining order.

It’s hammer time (again)

Meanwhile over in West Yorkshire, another hoodlum who should really know better came unstuck at the hands of a hammer, as well. 42-year-old Christopher Shepherd used the tool to smash his way into a residential address in Paddock in October of last year. With the household’s owners sound asleep upstairs, Shepherd helped himself to car keys, a laptop, a games consoles, a watch and a wallet before making his escape.

Unfortunately for him, he’d only forgotten to take the hammer with him and police were able to finger him from the DNA he’d left smeared all over it. With 28 previous convictions and having caused the homeowners £1,115 expense and no little amount of stress, Shepherd was sentenced to 28 months’ jail time.

Don’t cry over spilt whisky

Up in Stoke, one ne’er-do-well wasn’t bothering with Dry January at all, as he raided a town-centre Sainsbury’s in the middle of the night and tried to make off with an entire crate of whisky. High on diazepam at the time, 35-year-old Graeme McLardy’s plan came a cropper when he tripped on his way out, smashing 16 of the 18 bottles and cutting himself on broken glass.

Though he wasn’t apprehended on the scene, police were able to work their CSI jiggery-pokery on his DNA samples and track him down. He admitted to being homeless at the time of the offence and to having a serious drug addiction, resulting in a reduced sentence of six weeks inside the big house.

Unauthorised hospital discharge

Foolhardy thieves from South Wales decided to target an NHS hospital this month, only to flee empty-handed after their getaway vehicle became lodged inside the building’s entrance. The trio reversed a Mitsubishi Pajero 4×4 through the double doors of Aneurin Bean hospital in Ebbw Vale in the middle of the night on January 10th.

However, when trying to extricate his behemoth of a vehicle from the hospital’s automatic doors, the driver was too careless and ended up jamming the car in position. All three of the men gave up the ill-advised plan and skedaddled on foot, having managed to steal a grand total of diddly squat.

You’re breaking my balls!

Meanwhile just outside of the UK, a disgruntled Irish robber is suing the shop he targeted after injuring his genitals in the attempt. A trio of men broke into a convenience store in Kingscourt in County Cavan, only to be rumbled by the Gardai and picked up outside. Apparently in the confusion, one of the men snagged the family jewels on a shelf inside the shop, meaning he required medical attention.

Incredibly, the ragamuffin is now lodging a complaint against the shop owner and threatening to sue. In order to avoid a protracted and potentially expensive court case, the owner must pay the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB) a whopping €600 (£530) to review it. The man is understandably flabbergasted.

Home security is no laughing matter

Though these stories show a lighter side to home intrusion, the reality is that thousands of burglaries take place every day. Make sure your property is secured by taking all of the necessary precautions and installing an up-to-date home security system – for friendly, professional advice, get in touch with the dedicated team at Blackburn Alarms today.

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Jonny Sweet

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