ONE of Sheffield’s most prolific burglars who has committed more than 100 offences in a 36-year criminal career is back behind bars.
Serial offender Luigi Lanera - who started committing crimes aged just 13 - has been jailed for four-and-a-half years for a ‘despicable’ raid on a Sheffield pensioner’s home as he slept.
Lanera, aged 48, of Holland Road, Highfield, terrified his 74-year-old victim after breaking into his home in the middle of the night as the OAP slept.
The pensioner woke up to find Luigi ransacking his bedside cabinet and later discovered a mobile phone and £300 had been stolen from his home.
Lanera had only been released from prison four months before he broke into his victim’s home in the St Barnabus sheltered housing complex on Highfield Road, Highfield, in March.
He was caught when a police officer recognised him after he was picked up by a CCTV camera near the housing complex at the time of the burglary.
When officers raided his home they found the victim’s phone, identified because it contained a picture of the OAP’s pet budgie.
Detective Inspector Chris Singleton, from Sheffield’s priority crime team, said the break-in was ‘despicable’ and ‘harrowing’ .
“Lanera is a career criminal who has preyed on the elderly and vulnerable over the years and this was no exception,” he said.
“His victim woke in the early hours of the morning to find a male going through the drawers at the side of his bed.
“The 74-year-old man shouted at the man and he fled.
“He was arrested when an officer recognised him on CCTV footage obtained during the course of the investigation into the offence, which put Lanera in the area at the time of the offence.
“When officers searched his home they found the victim’s mobile phone, which was only worth £5.
“It must have been a harrowing experience for Lanera’s elderly victim to wake up in the middle of the night to find a stranger in his bedroom.”
The £300 stolen during the raid was never recovered and Lanera denied any involvement in the offence until the day he was due to stand trial, when he eventually confessed to burglary and was jailed at Sheffield Crown Court.
Det Insp Singleton said it was a ‘significant’ sentence and should serve as a warning to criminals that CCTV cameras could be monitoring their every move
“As time moves on there are more and more CCTV cameras in the city and we have had some significant results with them, particularly the mobile ones we move from one place to another,” he said.
“Offenders need to know that if they are out and about committing crimes the likelihood is that they will be picked up on a camera somewhere and we will trace them.”