Thief snared in trap car sting

30 September 2013

Yafet Askale who was caught in the trap car operation

A man has been convicted of stealing from a car after he was sprayed with a substance which proved his guilt.

Yafet Askale, 28 (21.01.1985), of Harlesden Gardens, Harlesden was sentenced to a community order for 49 hours and £400 costs at Brent Magistrates' Court on the 27 September 2013 for theft from motor vehicle.

"Brent Police say very clearly to any would be thieves - Don't come to Brent."

Early this year a trap car with SmartWater traceable liquid was set up in Harlesden. On Monday 10 June 2013, an activation was received indicating that the vehicle had been broken into and property taken.

The suspect was later located where he was found to be in possession of the stolen property and arrested.

When Askale stole items from the car, including a laptop, he activated a spray system where he was covered with the substance.

Ultra violet lights showed that Askale covered in the spray proving that he had broken into the car - which is illustrated in these images released by Brent Police.

Askale was charged with theft and attended Hendon Magistrates' Court on the 22 July where he pleaded not guilty to theft from motor vehicle.

He stood trial at Brent Magistrates' Court on 27 September where he was found guilty of theft from motor vehicle.

Brent Police have recently been working with SmartWater using trap cars and trap houses equipped with technology to deter thieves from committing crime in Brent and also to catch those that do.

Harlesden residents have also been provided with free kits to mark valuable property with the substance within their homes which has seen them enjoy an 80 percent reduction in burglary and a 40 percent reduction in street robbery.

Detective Inspector Madeline Ryder of Brent Police said: "This is another excellent example of the thorough work completed by Brent Officers. Using the trap car technology, we were able to charge Askale and put him before the courts.

"The trap car forms part of an overall crime reduction strategy designed by SmartWater, which is an effective weapon in the armoury of tools that we routinely use in Brent. We will continue to target those who are insistent on committing these types of offences."

"Brent Police say very clearly to any would be thieves - Don't come to Brent - our trap cars and trap houses are waiting for you."