Moment prolific burglar, 57, breaks into a sleeping pensioner's home

Moment prolific burglar, 57, breaks into pensioner’s home while she’s asleep as crook is jailed for four years

  • John Donakey, 57, was jailed for four years today following a spree of offences
  • Footage shows the moment he broke into a pensioners home while she slept
  • He can be seen wearing black gloves searching through her draws and purse
  • He was found guilty of nine counts of burglary and going equipped for theft
  • This is the moment a prolific burglar known for targeting elderly people sneaks into a sleeping pensioner’s home while her horrified family watch on CCTVas he is jailed for four years.

    Serial crook John Donakey, 57, crept into the woman’s home before putting on black gloves to rifle through the drawers, a bag and a purse.

    He had previously looked through the window and seen the woman sleeping before he entered through the door on the other side of the home in Cumbria.

    Fortunately, the victim’s family had spotted the incident on a Ring doorbell camera and called 999.

    Officers attended the home but could not find Donakey on time. The following day, after conducting enquiries with locals, they found a vehicle that was not a regular site in the area.








    Burglar John Donakey, 57, (illustré) was seen creeping into the woman's home before putting on black gloves to rifle through the drawers, a bag and a purse. She can be seen sleeping in the corner

    Burglar John Donakey, 57, (illustré) was seen creeping into the woman’s home before putting on black gloves to rifle through the drawers, a bag and a purse. She can be seen sleeping in the corner

    Police then spotted Donakey getting out of the vehicle and wandering into an estate in Penrith. He was then arrested.

    Donakey had been targeting elderly residents in the Penrith and Kendal region.

    Today the burglar, from St Helens in Merseyside, was sentenced to four years in jail for nine counts of burglary and one offence of going equipped for theft.

    Donakey (illustré) from St Helens in Merseyside, was sentenced to four years in jail for nine counts of burglary and one offence of going equipped for theft

    Donakey (illustré) from St Helens in Merseyside, was sentenced to four years in jail for nine counts of burglary and one offence of going equipped for theft

    The incidents all occurred between 2018 and June this year.

    Detective Constable Karen Minnion said: ‘Donakey is a prolific burglar who had no issue with entering properties with no regards for the occupants and made excuses for his presence if disturbed.

    ‘Following his arrest in June 2022 we were able to match his DNA to another burglary in 2020.

    ‘We also looked at historical burglaries with similar circumstances from 2018 in Kendal and the victims were able to identify Donakey as the person who had entered their homes.

    In October 2020, Donakey was found inside a property in Penrith after the occupant had heard noises from upstairs.

    The victim went upstairs to check what the noise was and noticed shadows in the bedroom before Donakey pushed the door open, pushing and shoving past the victim before fleeing the scene.

    In July 2018, Donakey was disturbed twice inside the same property and within another property in Kendal. He made excuses each time he was disturbed, on one occasion claiming to have been looking for someone before he fled.

    Before breaking in, he was seen looking through the window and seeing the woman sleeping before he entered through the door on the other side of the home in Cumbria. Fortunately the woman's family caught the burglary on Ring doorbell camera

    Before breaking in, he was seen looking through the window and seeing the woman sleeping before he entered through the door on the other side of the home in Cumbria. Fortunately the woman’s family caught the burglary on Ring doorbell camera

    DC Minnion continued ‘Everyone should feel safe in their own home, if you have experienced something like this, please report it to us, we take these offences extremely seriously.

    ‘I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the vigilance of communities who have supported this investigation having sighted Donakey in the area before the incidents.

    ‘Today’s sentencing shows that those who commit such offences will be found and brought to justice.

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