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Housebreaker targeted elderly and vulnerable victims in Dundee then led police on a chase

Housebreaker targeted elderly and vulnerable victims in Dundee then led police on a chase

A calculating thief broke into an 87-year-old man’s home and stole £900 worth of goods and a car, before leading police on a dangerous car chase.

Alan Rachwall, 29, was jailed after admitting nine charges at Dundee Sheriff Court, including breaking into a disabled person’s home, an elderly man’s home and charges in relation to a police chase.

The court heard Rachwall, from Dundee, broke into two Carnoustie homes on May 21 just three days after being released from prison on licence.

He first targeted a home on Bonnela Street, where a 52-year-old disabled woman lives with her husband, however he was disturbed by the owner who shouted “hey” after a noise woke him.

Rachwall ran away before the owner could see who he was, and managed to escape with a Smart meter, keys and three items of clothing.

Moments after he targeted a nearby home where an 87-year-old man lives with his partner and son, who had been staying with them to assist them during lockdown.

Fiscal Depute Eilidh Roberston said: “When the man awoke the next morning he found his patio doors had been forced open and a laptop, iPad, TV, wallet containing £100 cash and cards were missing and a bicycle had been moved in the garden.

“Keys to the homeowner’s VW Polo were also missing and his car had been stolen from the garage. It was later found by police in the car park of Co-op with the TV inside.”

Rachwall used the stolen debit card to purchase £21.30 worth of cigarettes at Premier Store, Barry Road, Carnoustie, and was captured on CCTV.

He was traced in Dundee by police and the laptop was recovered from a third party’s home who said she had taken the laptop in exchange for giving the accused crack cocaine.

Around three weeks later police saw Rachwall driving a Ford Ka at Balunie Avenue, Dundee, and stopped him, knowing he did not have a licence.

The fiscal continued: “Officers activated their lights and the accused pulled over and looked at police then reversed at speed.

“He struck a kerb near to pedestrians, drove on the wrong lane at a roundabout, then went up to 60mph, passing several junctions.

“The accused then left the road and drove on a pedestrian pathway at speed and police stopped their pursuit for safety reasons.”

Rachwall, a prisoner at HMP Perth, admitted two charges of theft by housebreaking, two charges of driving without a licence, a charge of theft by fraud, dangerous driving, driving without insurance and breaching a curfew.

He was ordered to return to jail to serve his remaining 188 days on licence and thereafter to serve a further 15 months in prison for the subsequent offences.

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