A would-be thief who tried to ‘fish’ car keys through the letter box of a Knowle home using a tree branch has been given a suspended prison sentence.
Dale Mughal, of Pool Farm Road, Acocks Green, attempted to hook the keys to the homeowner’s BMW out of a bowl in the hallway in the early hours of February 28.
The 20-year-old, whose fingerprints were found on the letter box of the Warwick Road home, was caught out when the keys hit the floor and woke the occupier.
Mughal pleaded guilty to burglary with intent to steal and was handed an 18-month jail sentence, suspended for two years, at Birmingham Crown Court on April 8. He was also given an 18-month supervision order, will be electronically tagged and placed under a curfew for the next three months.
Det Con Kate Fitzgerald urged residents not to leave house or car keys on display and within reach of doors or windows.
“This isn’t the first time a thief has tried ‘fishing’ keys through a letter box. They will try using coat hangers, umbrellas or in this case a tree branch.
“Most attempts are unlikely to succeed but I’d still urge people to put keys out of view, in a drawer, or at least well away from the front door.”
When the case was first heard at Solihull Magistrates last month, Mughal had claimed an accomplice had used the branch and he’d just held the letter box open.