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We have today, Thursday, 16 January, welcomed the sentencing of a Fazakerley man for multiple distraction burglaries.
Between April and August 2019, 53-year-old Antonio Hall of Longmoor Lane targeted elderly victims and gained access to their homes, by posing as a workman or gardener, or using excuses such as he had ‘dropped his keys in their garden’. Once inside their homes, Hall would steal money and jewellery.
He pleaded guilty to seven counts of burglary at Liverpool Crown Court and was today sentenced to eight years in prison.
The offences included:
A burglary at an address in Runnells Lane, Crosby on 23 April
A burglary at an address in Cross Street , Prescot on 10 May
A burglary at an address in South Avenue, Prescot on 12 May
A burglary at an address in Marshfield Close, Huyton on 16 July
A burglary at an address in Hurstlyn Road, Liverpool on 24 July
A burglary at an address in Padbury Street, Liverpool on 1 August
A burglary at an address in St Anne’s Road, Aigburth on 5 August
Detective Sergeant John Fitzgerald, from Operation Castle said: “Hall is a prolific burglar who targeted elderly, vulnerable victims, and I’m sure it is a huge relief for those victims to see him sent to prison for a considerable amount of time today. He had no regard for the lives he affected, and abused the trust of those individuals by creating lies to allow him to gain access to their homes.
“Through Operation Castle, our force-wide response to burglary, we have seen significant success in identifying, charging and bringing to justice burglars across Merseyside and we want this work to continue supported by the local community, so we can carry out positive action and identify those responsible.
“To be the victim of burglary can be incredibly distressing and can leave a lasting impact, but there are simple steps you can take to help prevent becoming a target. Ensure your windows and doors are locked, leave car keys out of sight and keep garden sheds and garages secure too. More advise can be found on our website at: https://www.merseyside.police.uk/cp/crime-prevention/residential-burglary/
In his Victim Personal Statement, one of Hall’s victims said: “I am 95 years old. I served my country in World War Two, I am a D-Day Man and I also fought in Operation Market Garden. I am very proud of the service that I have given to my country. I trusted the people who came into my house, I had no reason not to. I have been asked how the incident has affected me. I’m not sure how I’m meant to feel. I truly believe that the actions of those men, who came into my home on that day, were disgraceful. They knew exactly what they were doing, one kept me talking whilst the other stole the money, and they knew where to look for it. It may not seem like a lot of money to some people but it was money that we had saved up.
"Due to my restricted mobility I’m not able to leave my bungalow very often but my wife is still active and gets out as much as she can. Since the incident I have been very nervous, especially when I’m left alone. I had a ring doorbell fitted following the burglary. Although it was expensive, I feel much safer because if the bell goes, either at the front or back, my family can check to see who it is. I can’t fault the police one bit, they have been fantastic with my wife and I, and I want the court to know how good they’ve been.”
If you have information on burglary in your area, you can contact @MerPolCC, 101 or the dedicate Operation Castle line on 0151 777 7926 or [email protected] You can also contact the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously on 0800 555 111.