Burglar leaves note to say sorry

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Man standing hand placed on wall at word sorry written on wall.

A teenage thief, who burgled his neighbour's house, left a message on his computer apologising for what he had done. However, the judge wasn't swayed, and 18-year-old Jacob Ali, from Quedgeley in Gloucester, was sentenced to 12 months in a young offender's institution.

He's not the only one to have tried this tactic.

The Daily Mail reported that Ali had taken keys, a USB stick, a torch and a screwdriver from his neighbour's house in November last year. His neighbour called the police when he heard Ali leaving, and he was tracked down by a police dog as he tried to break into a parked van nearby.

He was apparently so drunk at the time of the burglary that he got lost after leaving the property - despite the fact that he lived on the same road.

Police found that he had opened his neighbour's computer, activated the Paint programme, and written 'Sorry, I need the money'.

However, The Gloucester Citizen reported that given that Ali already had 13 court appearances behind him, and that a number of youth rehabilitation orders had failed to change his behaviour, the judge ordered that he spend 12 months behind bars.

Sorry

He's not the first burglar who hoped that an apology would help.

We reported in November last year on the burglar who had accidentally stolen a war veteran's ashes during a raid, and sent a letter to the family to apologise. They were highly distressed by the letter. He was jailed for 20 months and given a five year restraining order preventing him from contacting them.

In 2001 a Bolton burglar crept into a woman's home as she was sleeping and apologised - before stealing her car. He had apparently thought the room was empty, while she assumed it was her son until it was too late. He was jailed for more than two years.

In January last year a burglar who snatched an iPad from a student's room in Coventry, handed it back and apologised after the owner chased him down the street. He was jailed for more than two years.

However, some apologies sound a bit more sincere than others. Last summer in California burglars took six computers and a laptop from a rape crisis centre. Hours later they returned them with an apology note that said "We had no idea what we were taking" adding "We hope that you guys can continue to make a difference in people's lives."

Top postcodes for theft

Top postcodes for theft