Burglar caught after his phone accidentally records him bragging about crimes

·2-min read
Wayne Axtell, 39, was arrested while riding a stolen Segway scooter. (SWNS)
Wayne Axtell, 39, was arrested while riding a stolen Segway scooter. (SWNS)

A burglar who was caught after accidentally recording himself talking about his crimes has been jailed for four years.

Wayne Axtell, 39, was arrested while riding a Segway scooter which was stolen during a burglary last year.

Police seized his phone and discovered many recorded phone calls in which he talked about various thefts he had “got away” with.

Axtell had inadvertently recorded calls bragging about a series of burglaries, even some he was not suspected of committing.

Read more: Parliament could burn down like Notre Dame, Tory MP warns

General view of the Oxford Crown Court   (Photo by Steve Parsons/PA Images via Getty Images)
Wayne Axtell, 39, was jailed at Oxford Crown Court after his phone recordings were used as evidence. (Getty Images)

Read more: Dominic Raab says it's ‘fantastic’ Rishi Sunak has joined UK list of super-rich

Prosecutor Alex Radley told Oxford Crown Court the calls helped the police link him to several thefts in Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire in 2021.

He had a lock-knife on him and recordings of voice calls in which he discussed thefts committed between March and August.

The phone conversations also linked the defendant to the theft of high value ride-on lawnmowers and gardening tools at various sites.

Defending, Peter du Feu said his client did not know his phone’s default setting was to record its calls.

He said: “It is an extraordinary piece of evidence and a real own goal for him.''

Read more: Iain Duncan Smith says government must help poor by increasing Universal Credit

Axtell pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to conspiracy to steal, non-dwelling burglary, handling stolen goods and possession of a blade.

His basis of plea, which was not wholly accepted by the prosecution, was that he acted as a driver for the theft gang.

He also asked for 13 other thefts to be taken into consideration.

Judge Nigel Daly jailed Axtell for four years on Thursday.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting