THE detective work of a Bodmin teenager, which led to the jailing of a burglar, has been praised by a judge.
Connor Kendall tracked down items stolen from his home after the property was burgled by 22-year-old Jamie Fisher.
Connor's initiative quickly led to Fisher's arrest and the prolific offender was jailed this week for 28 months at Truro Crown Court.
Elaine Hobson, for the prosecution, revealed that on October 16, Connor returned to his home in Whitestone Crescent and discovered that a laptop, two digital cameras and a policeman's wristwatch were missing. The kitchen window was ajar and the back door unlocked.
Connor, aged 16, said he was able to discover who had stolen the items pretty quickly.
"I contacted some of my mates and we found out that someone in Bodmin was trying to sell a laptop and cameras to people, so we decided to go out and try to find the person who was selling them because they sounded like the things stolen from my house," he said.
"We found some boys who said it was Jamie Fisher who had offered them the laptop – the whole thing only took about an hour."
Further detective work by the lads discovered that the policeman's watch was up for sale on a local Facebook page and Fisher was soon arrested.
Fisher admitted entering the property as he had no money and was not in receipt of benefits. He sold the laptop for £30 to buy cannabis.
Miss Hobson said that the total value of the laptop, two digital cameras and the policeman's wristwatch Fisher stole was £960 of which £330 worth was recovered.
Fisher was at risk of a mandatory three-year sentence as he had five previous convictions, including burglaries, theft and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
Defence counsel Ramsay Quaife, pointed out that Fisher had pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity, he did not ransack the detached property and no violence was involved.
Judge John Neligan, described Fisher, whose home is in Edgecumbe Road, Roche, as a "sneak thief'' with an unenviable record for a young man.
Imposing a 28-month prison sentence, the judge said: "You may have got away with it but for the young man's detective work."
Connor's dad, Kevin Kendall, said his son and his friends had done a superb job in tracking down some of the stolen items.
"The laptop is still missing, but thanks to Connor and his friends who were a big help, the camcorder, digital camera and wristwatch were recovered – they all did and excellent job."