Burglar caught after he advertised camcorder stolen in Leeds house break-in on his Facebook page

A burglar who was arrested after he advertised property stolen during a break-in at a house in Leeds has been sent to prison.

By Tony Gardner
Sunday, 2nd August 2020, 4:45 pm

Reece Bowler was caught after his victim launched his own investigation to catch the culprit who targeted his home in Burley.

Leeds Crown Court heard Bowler climbed in through a kitchen window of the property on Thornville Mount during lockdown on April 8 this year.

Jade Edwards, prosecuting, said Bowler stole a PlayStation 4, a bank card and a credit card during the 2,30am burglary which took place while the homeowner was in bed.

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Burglar Reece Bowler was caught after he advertised stolen good on Facebook.

The court heard the victim has suffered from cancer and Bowler also stole medical cards relating to his condition.

Bowler, 23, used the bank card to buy goods from a BP garage on nearby Cardigan Road.

An attempt was made to use the credit card at the same garage but it was declined.

Miss Edwards said: "The complainant decided to try to investigate the matter himself and to try to find the perpetrator of this offence."

The victim received a tip-off that the man responsible featured in a Youtube video.

He was able to identity Bowler as a suspect and sent him a message on Facebook.

The victim asked Bowler to meet him and return the stolen items with the promise that it would "go no further."

Bowler replied, claiming he had not carried out the burglary but had found the bank card.

The defendant also asked the victim for his address so he could return it.

Three days after the break-in the victim realised that his camcorder was missing from his home.

He then checked Bowler's Facebook page and discovered that he was offering the camcorder for sale for £75.

Police were contacted and they went to arrest Bowler from his home on Elland Road, Beeston.

As he was led from the property Bowler shouted: "Mum, shut my Facebook down. I don't want these looking at it."

Bowler continued to deny carrying out the burglary and claimed to have found the bank card.

He later admitted responsibility for the burglary.

Miss Edwards said Bowler, in a separate incident on October 5 last year, spat in a police officers face as he was being taken into custody following a disturbance.

Bowler pleaded guilty to burglary, three offences of fraud and assaulting an emergency worker.

He has five previous convictions for house burglary.

Kara Frith, mitigating, said Bowler had not gone out with the intention of carrying out a burglary.

She said her client committed the offence when he was drunk and saw an opportunity.

Ms Frith said Bowler accepted that he would be facing a lengthy sentence because of his record.

He was jailed for 40 months.