A YORK burglar has been jailed for four and a half years after forensic evidence linked him to mobile phone footage taken by his victim.

North Yorkshire Police said Lee Anthony Harding, 43, of Union Terrace, broke into a property in St Hilda’s Terrace, York, early on June 25.

“At around 5.15am, the victim saw a man leaving his property from a patio door directly below the balcony he was looking over and started to film him on his mobile phone,” said a spokesperson.


“Shortly after, he saw the man leaving a neighbour’s property carrying a laptop and called the police. Harding was arrested shortly after by officers but refused to comment during police interviews.

“Clothing and footwear recovered from Harding at the time of his arrest matched clothing and footwear worn by the person in the victim’s mobile phone footage and he was charged with two counts of burglary.

“Forensic evidence was later used to conclude that Harding’s clothing showed a strong association to that worn by the person in the footage.”

After Harding was sentenced at York Crown Court, having pleaded guilty, investigating officer PC Andrew Chapman said the victim had been left "very shaken from the shock of seeing a burglar leaving his home" but he would like to praise the man for his quick thinking actions.

“His description allowed us locate and arrest Harding in just under 15 minutes and the mobile phone footage that he provided enabled us to link Harding to the crime,” he said.

“Whilst no one was hurt in this case, burglary has a devastating impact on victims and so I’m pleased with the sentence handed down today and satisfied that another burglar is now off our streets.”

The spokesperson issued advice on what to do if you have been burgled: “Ring 999 if you believe the offender is still in your house or has just run away; if not use the 101 number. You will be given a crime number to quote in an insurance claim, or if you want to contact police with any follow-up queries. Try to preserve the crime scene for any forensic evidence.”