Teenage Black Country burglar locked up

A teenage burglar – claimed to have been recruited by a violent gang to break into a string of homes in the Black Country – was today starting a year behind bars.

Teenage Black Country burglar locked up

A teenage burglar – claimed to have been recruited by a violent gang to break into a string of homes in the Black Country – was today starting a year behind bars.

Jon Watakibi was said to have been paid £140 by gang leaders who told him which homes to target and when. Wolverhampton Crown Court heard how the 18-year-old, of Hough Way in Essington, was paid £140 to carry out the raids over a six-week period.

He hit eight properties in Wednesfield, Walsall and Willenhall, Wolverhampton Crown Court heard yesterday afternoon.

Mr Mark Rees, prosecuting, said Watakibi used dog flaps to break into homes in Broadmeadows Green, Stowlawn, and Redwood Way, Ashmore Park, before stealing electrical items worth more than £6,000.

He forced open a conservatory door in Ascot Drive, Goldthorn Park, before stealing jewellery.

The elderly home owner was "upset and shocked" by the attack, said Mr Rees.

A raid on a home in Peacock Avenue, Ashmore Park, ended in a pursuit when the owner saw Watakibi and chased him.

The teenager also forced open a conservatory window in Mallord Close, Pelsall, and took credit cards and £700 cash. Hours later an unidentified person tried to use the card to buy an £8,000 car, the court heard.

A purse, bank cards, camera, mobile phone and £100 cash were taken from a home in Hillbury Drive, Coppice Farm.

Watakibi admitted six counts of burglary and two of burglary with intent to steal.

By Laura Stuart-Cook

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