Tuesday, 15 March 2016

CCTV shows 'the Wimbledon Prowler', whose victims include Boris Becker, throwing a safe from a window in one of his burglaries.
13:32, UK,Tuesday 15 March 2016
Detectives have released CCTV and photos as they hunt a "tenacious" burglar believed to be behind hundreds of burglaries over a 12-year period in southwest London.
The man has stolen nearly £10m worth of property from around 200 homes in upmarket Wimbledon Village, police have said.
His previous victims include tennis star Boris Becker and French footballer Nicolas Anelka, who reportedly chased the thief across his garden but was outrun.
Church Road
The newly released CCTV, filmed last year, shows a safe being thrown out of a window and the man climbing down to pick it up and walking away with it.
The police images show the suspect, dubbed 'the Wimbledon Prowler', wearing his trademark black fisherman's hat and black clothing. He is covering his mouth in the photos.
Peregrine Way, SW19
The suspect usually targets very large homes with big gardens, with the owners often unaware he is even on their property.
Detective Inspector Dan O'Sullivan, who is charge of the manhunt, told Sky News the "extremely tenacious" burglar regularly returns to the same house multiple times.
"Because he is such a meticulous individual, one of the key things he does is ensure the occupiers are unaware they are being broken into," he told Sky News.
"Then he'll repeatedly go back to the same address over a number of months, even years.
"Some victims have had their houses entered up to six times over a period of three or four years."
On at least six occasions, people have been inside their homes and disturbed the burglar. The suspect immediately fled.
Becker's home was reportedly targeted multiple times.
CCTV from one of the incidents shows the thief, wearing his fisherman hat, approaching the Becker home and then running away when an alarm is triggered.
His wife, Lilly Becker, spoke to a BBC Crimewatch appeal two years ago about how she had been living in fear.
"Not only do I have to switch on all the alarms I have to leave some lights on in the house when I am sleeping," she said.
"I can't enjoy my living room because it is connected to the garden where he has jumped over a few times.
Boris Becker
"That freedom has been taken away." 
Detectives say the man used to get into houses through unlocked windows and doors.
But with residents more on guard, he has been forced to change tack and has recently used ladders to get in through windows. Police believe he may also have a device to pick locks.
DI O'Sullivan said the burglar has been particularly hard to catch because the area he targets is surrounded by common land and golf courses.
"It's a difficult area to police," he said.
DI O'Sullivan also said he did not believe the burglar's motive was purely financial.
"There's been just shy of £10m worth of stolen ... so he's going to be a reasonably wealthy man," he said.
"The monetary factor and the financial gain is not his main motive. There's notoriety in it now for him, but the notoriety is when he gets caught."
The suspect is in his late thirties and around 5'8" to 5'10" with a slim to athletic build.
:: Anyone with information is urged to call Merton Police on 020 8649 3155 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.