Burglar ‘foiled by a glove’ is jailed after targeting 93 year-old victim

Michael Andrew Hester. Photograph: North Yorkshire Police
1 Nov 2019 @ 8.19 am
| Crime, News

A burglar, who was ‘foiled by a glove’ that he left behind after targeting an elderly victim, has been jailed.

A court was told how the 95 year-old victim (93 at the time) awoke to a loud banging sound in his home and went downstairs on his stair-lift where he found Hester stood in his kitchen. He tapped him on the shoulder and Hester ran off.

A ladies glove was found on the kitchen floor and investigators were able to link DNA found in the glove to Hester.

He was arrested but refused to comment on a number of questions during police interviews. Due to the DNA evidence being on a moveable item Hester was released whilst the investigation continued.

Tracked by phone

Windmill Rise in York. Photograph © Google Street View
Cell site analysis showed a mobile phone, which was seized from Hester during his arrest, had activated on masts close to the address at the time of the burglary. Photos found on his mobile phone showed him in a hotel room just a ten minute walk from the elderly victim’s home on the same evening.

A radio frequency report narrowed down the mobile phone’s activations even further and conclusively showed that his phone was in the vicinity of the address at the time of the burglary and not at the hotel as claimed by Hester.

After pleading not guilty to burglary, Hester, of Thanet Road, York, was found guilty by a jury and sentenced to two years, six months in prison at York Crown Court on Wednesday 30 October 2019.

Appalling crime

York Crown Court. Photograph: YorkMix
Investigator Dave Pegg, one of the burglary coordinators for North Yorkshire Police said:

  • This was an appalling crime committed on an elderly man who was targeted for his vulnerability.

    Thankfully, Hester was foiled by a glove he left behind amongst other pieces of evidence linking him to the crime.

    Many people think the police just aren’t bothered about burglary but that is not the case and this case demonstrates the lengths we will go to identify offenders and bring them to justice.

    We are absolutely committed to investigating burglaries in North Yorkshire and arresting and charging those responsible.

It was also untrue that “even if you catch” burglars the courts won’t do anything with them.

“I’m pleased to say that this is not the case and in my experience over the course of the last two years, this case included, lengthy prison sentences are regularly imposed on burglars as they should be.

“Finally, I want to praise the victim for his bravery. I know that he is extremely relieved and pleased, as am I, that Hester was caught and is now behind bars where he belongs.”

What to do if you have been burgled

Ring 999 if you believe the offender is still in your house or has just run away; if not use the 101 number. You will be given a crime number to quote in an insurance claim, or if you want to contact police with any follow-up queries.

Try to preserve the crime scene for any forensic evidence that may be of use to the police. If possible, do not touch anything or allow your children or pets into the same rooms that the burglar has been in.

For more advice visit northyorkshire.police.uk/homesecurity