A prolific Brighton and Hove burglar with a taste for Nike Airforce 1 trainers has been jailed after admitting a string of theft offences.
Derek Antwi, 29, of Upper Hollingdean Road in Brighton, pleaded guilty to a number of burglaries and robberies across the city, several committed while wearing clothes stolen from previous break-ins.
His crime scenes were typified by muddy footprints with a Nike Airforce tread and multiple victims reported having Nike Airforce trainers stolen – including a pair of limited edition tan and blue Airforce 1s that were found in Antwi’s flat.
Investigators also linked Antwi’s break-ins by a pattern of entering through the back of properties, smashing through patio doors and ransacking rooms in an untidy search for valuables.
On Friday, December 10, police received a report of a burglary in Glendale Road, Brighton, in which a bank card was stolen.
CCTV footage showed Antwi riding to three local stores, on a bicycle stolen from another Glendale Road address, where the card was used. The clothes Antwi wore in the footage, including Nike Airforce 1 trainers, were found in his possession when he was later arrested.
On December 15, Antwi was again caught on CCTV climbing over a wall in Rothbury Road, wearing distinctive tan and blue Nike Airforce trainers that had been reported stolen from a property in Beechwood Road several days earlier.
A bike was stolen from Rothbury Road, and the trainers were found at Antwi’s house when he was arrested.
The following day, December 16, Antwi threatened to stab two residents of Silverdale Road after they disturbed him stealing two bicycles from their shed.
On January 10, Antwi was chased away by residents of a property in Stanford Road, having stolen some trainers from a front doorstep and burgled a property next door. The incident was once again captured on CCTV, where Antwi was shown to be wearing clothes stolen from one of the houses.
Antwi was arrested on January 18 following a report of two bikes worth £6,500 being stolen from a garage in Westbourne Gardens.
When Antwi was arrested shortly after, he had a receipt from a pawnbrokers in his pocket showing he had sold one of the bikes for just £120. He still had the cash.
He was charged with three counts of burglary, one count of robbery, three counts of fraud, one count of theft of a pedal cycle, two counts of theft from a person and two counts of handling stolen goods.
He pleaded guilty to all charges except one burglary and one count of handling stolen goods, which will lie on file.
At Lewes Crown Court on Thursday, May 19, Antwi was jailed for six years.
Investigator Rose Horan said: “Derek Antwi is a committed criminal who was relentless in his offending across Brighton and Hove.
“His crimes caused financial damage to his victims, violated their personal spaces and in some cases resulted in direct threats to their safety.
“Our investigative team were able to spot similarities in the modus operandi of several break-ins and conclude this series was being carried out by one individual.
“Assisted by an overwhelming amount of evidence linked to Antwi – which ultimately helped secure the guilty pleas – we were able to identify a suspect, bring him into custody and take him off the streets.
“I would like to thank all of the victims for their support in this investigation and everybody involved who helped to bring this conviction.”