A TEENAGER has been jailed for a burglary in Weeton after his footprint linked him to the crime.

Eighteen year old Daniel James Prague, from Harrogate, was sentenced to 13 months imprisonment for breaking into a house on Woodgate Lane earlier this year.

North Yorkshire Police say the incident, which took place in the early morning of Saturday, May 25, left the householders feeling ‘vulnerable in their own home’.

The residents had been alerted to the break-in and gone downstairs to find that a window had been forced open and all of their keys, including keys to three vehicles, had been stolen.

Shortly after Prague - of Avenue Grove, Harrogate - and another 18 year-old man were arrested nearby on suspicion of burglary. CCTV from a neighbouring property showed the figures of two males acting suspiciously.

Prague and the other 18 year-old refused to comment on a number of questions put to them during a police interview. Their clothing and footwear were seized and they were released whilst the investigation continued.

A forensic scientist was then able to analyse the pattern, general wear and damage features of Prague’s footwear and match it to that of a footprint found at the burgled property.

He was arrested again but continued to reply ‘no comment’ in interview, and was charged with burglary.

After pleading guilty in court, Prague was sentenced to 13 months in prison at York Crown Court on Wednesday, November 13.

The other 18 year-old was released without further action.

Investigating Officer Detective Constable Abigail Garford, of North Yorkshire Police’s Criminal Investigation Department, said: “This burglary has left the victims feeling vulnerable in their own home at a time that they were already under a lot of strain due to illness.

“They felt that if it hadn’t been for the alarm they had set that night, the consequences could have been far greater.

“This case demonstrates how advancements in forensic analysis are helping us to link offenders to their crime and prove their guilt, even when they continue to maintain their innocence.

“I am pleased with the sentence Prague has received and think it reflects the seriousness of this type of crime, which has a devastating impact on victims and leaves them feeling unsafe long after the initial incident.

“I hope this sentence offers reassurance that we are committed to bringing offenders to justice.”

Anyone who has been burgled is advised to call 999 if they believe the offender is still in the property or has just fled, otherwise to call 101. For more advice visit northyorkshire.police.uk/homesecurity.