Drunk teen admits burglary after coming from West Midlands to join online camping trip to Carshalton
The 17-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, broke into the flat in a converted building in Poulter Park after coming to the area to camp with a group of youngsters from all over the country who met over the internet.
But he was caught after police spotted him at Heathrow's terminal four and matched his fingerprints to one taken at the scene.
The youth managed to break into the flat despite the building being surrounded by a 6ft steel fence coated in anti-vandal paint at around 2pm on Sunday, October 20. A 53-year-old woman living at the flat heard a noise and grabbed an umbrella before she went to investigate only to find the intruder had already left with her £800 Apple iPad.
The youths from all over the country organised a camping trip to Poulter Park
Officers attended and interviewed a group of teenagers who had come from all over the country to camp in the park after agreeing to get together over social media. Names and addresses were taken but the iPad was not found.
Police carried out a forensic investigation in the house and found a single fingerprint on the underside of a windowsill. The print was matched to a West Midlands 17-year-old whose image and details were circulated to officers around the country.
Officers at Heathrow airport approached a group of youths who had congregated at Heathrow's terminal four but did not appear to be travelling anywhere on Wednesday, October 23. One of the youths was the teen wanted in connection with the Poulter Park break-in. As he was arrested he admitted the offence and pointed to an iPad charging at a nearby socket. In an interview he said he was drunk at the time of the burglary and was sorry for what he did.
The iPad was returned to its owner and the teen was given an eight-month referral order and had to pay a £15 victim surcharge at Croydon Youth Court on Thursday, October 24.
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