'Wimbledon Prowler' admits Boris Becker burglary attempt

Boris Becker Image copyright REUTERS/Neil Hall
Image caption Boris Becker won the first of his three Wimbledon titles at the age of 17

A serial burglar dubbed the "Wimbledon prowler" has admitted trying to raid the home of tennis star Boris Becker.

Asdrit Kapaj, 42, burgled a string of residences in the London suburb, home to the All England Lawn Tennis Club.

His "sustained campaign" spanned more than a decade, netting him high-end items and thousands in cash.

After pleading guilty to 21 burglaries last month, he returned to court on Monday to admit an attempted burglary at Mr Becker's home.

Kingston Crown Court heard Kapaj travelled from Altrincham, Greater Manchester, to target homes in south-west London from 2008 until his arrest in February.

He attempted to raid Becker's house on 31 October 2013.

The 51-year-old German, who won six Grand Slam singles events during his career - including Wimbledon three times - lived in the area with his then wife Lilly at the time.

Becker said: "He didn't actually get into the house," before adding "I'm pleased he's been caught."

His estranged wife Lilly said: "He had no choice but to admit what he'd done."

Scotland Yard had linked the "prowler", who wore a distinctive fisherman's hat, to 200 burglaries in total.

He was accused of meticulously destroying security equipment and police said he may have used a device to pick locks.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Asdrit Kapaj travelled from his home in Greater Manchester to carry out the burglaries

Over the years, Kapaj's haul included a diamond ring, a gold necklace and a gold watch.

As well as the attempted raid on Becker's home, Kapaj admitted another burglary in the area on 25 January 2014.

Judge Peter Lodder QC described the married father of two as having "identified a particular area and conducted a sustained campaign".

A large group of residents went to court last month to celebrate Kapaj's guilty pleas.

One, Laurie Porter, said homeowners were now "sleeping more easily" after he admitted the burglaries.

Kapaj will next appear in court on 7 June.

He was already due to be sentenced for his other offences, which also included two counts of attempted burglary, on 21 June.

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