Markyate bank card thief spared jail time

Robert Rowe stole a bank card from a parked car in Markyate.

Robert Rowe stole a bank card from a parked car in Markyate. - Credit: Archant

A Markyate bank card thief has been sentenced for fraud but spared jail time.

Doorbell cameras captured the moment when Robert Rowe, of Hereford Way in Aylesbury, was trying the door handles of cars parked on Manse Court in Markyate on January 28.

He stole a card from a wallet inside one of the vehicles at about 3.15pm, and then used the contactless feature to buy tobacco from a Co-op on Silk Mill Way in Tring - activity which was also captured on the shop’s CCTV.

Rowe also returned to the store later that morning, took food from the shelves, and left without paying.

The 37-year-old pleaded guilty to fraud, theft, and a further charge of going equipped to interfere with motor vehicles at Hatfield Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, March 6.

The last interference charge relates to an offence in the early hours of January 17, on Flamsteadbury Lane in Redbourn, when residents spotted Rowe peering through car windows and called the police.

On that occasion, he was arrested and found to be carrying a torch and screwdriver.

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Rowe has been sentenced to 16 weeks, suspended for 12 months.

PC Brian Evans said: “If Rowe commits any further offences during his 12 month suspended sentence he risks being sent to prison for these offences and also being dealt with for any further offending.

“I’d like to take this opportunity to remind motorists to ensure they remove all valuables from their vehicle when leaving it parked. Even something as insignificant as small change could be attractive to thieves and result in you becoming a victim of crime.

“Please also ensure that you leave your vehicle properly secure and double check that the doors are locked by lifting the door handles rather than just relying on your key fob.”

Advice about vehicle safety can also be found at

Anyone with information about criminal activity should contact the police on 101 or on the anonymous Crimestoppers line 0800 555 111.