Google search history helps catch would-be burglars
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Two people have been sentenced to a total of over 20 years in prison after conspiring to burgle a home in Virginia Water in 2020, with one of the defendants caught after a view of her Google search history revealed she had looked up ‘how to open a locked window’ and ‘where to get a gun’.
Jordan Malcom-Taylor, 28, of Fairbanks Road in Tottenham, was sentenced to nine years and nine months in prison after pleading guilty to attempted aggravated burglary and possession of an imitation firearm.
Nikisha Hosten, 22, of Edgehill Road in Mitcham, was sentenced to 11 years in prison after also pleading not guilty to attempted aggravated burglary and possession of an imitation firearm.
The court heard how Hosten and Malcom-Taylor had searched for a home to target in the weeks leading up to the attempted burglary on 15 April.
On the day of the offence, the pair had entered the property through a fence before they were spotted running through the back garden by the occupants of the home. One of the occupants chased Malcom-Taylor in a bid to get him to stop, but he was able to escape.
He was later seen driving a car away from the scene by officers who were responding to the incident and had noticed that he matched the description of the suspect. They pursued the car, bringing it to a stop in a nearby road, where he was arrested.
Inside the car, officers found two knives, an imitation firearm, handcuffs and a bank card belonging to a woman.
The bank card was later traced to Nikisha Hosten, who was arrested at her home two days later.
A bag seized near the home which was discarded by Malcom-Taylor during his escape was found to contain a claw hammer, cable ties and a jerry can of petrol.
Further damning evidence came to light after the pair’s arrest, including CCTV footage of them carrying out a reconnaissance visit to the area the day before the offence.
A search of Hosten’s home found a key belonging to the patio door of the house where the burglary was due to take place, along with her mobile phone, which showed she had searched a number of questions on Google pertaining to committing a burglary, including ‘what to do with £3 million’. Hosten had also searched for information about CCTV cameras around the area and clicked on news articles about other burglaries in Surrey.
Malcom-Taylor and Hosten were sentenced at Kingston Crown Court today (29 July).
Detective Sergeant Hannah Clarke, who investigated the case, said: “Hosten and Malcom-Taylor had planned to carry out a violent burglary and showed frightening disregard for their victims in the process. Thankfully, their plans were foiled.
“The evidence against them was overwhelming and painted a real picture of the lengths they were willing to go to purely for selfish, monetary gain. It is a relief that they are now behind bars.”