Burglary victim’s praise for police

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A man who has been burgled five times says he is delighted police have nicked the man behind the latest assault on his Markyate home.

John Hope’s house was targeted by the crook at 10.30am on Monday – and police arrived there less than 10 minutes later.

Not long after that, forensics teams had arrived and discovered a drop of blood near his broken-down back door.

The burglar stole a watch an Ipad before being scared away by a security alarm.

On Thursday, police left a message on his answer phone saying they had caught the man behind the crime and he would be in court in March.

The culprit is the second crook police have caught in connection with burglaries at John’s house. The other three crimes remain unsolved.

John, who lives with his wife Janet, said: “We like living where we are and the first time is the worst, really.

“We did not have an alarm system and were on holiday and did not learn about it until we got back.

“After that, you do not take it so personally and you do not dwell on it.”

The culprit behind the first attack, which happened more than 20 years ago, was sentenced to eight years in prison.

John thinks burglars target his home because it backs onto farmland on three sides and is near a main road for quick getaways.

The 64-year-old said he was glad his latest burglar will have to go through some of the same ‘hassle’ he went thorough.

He said: “I do not really think much of him at all. It is a big risk for small gains, really. We are not rich pickings here.

“We are getting used to being burgled, so we do not get too upset about it now.”