A serial thief who repeatedly targeted hospitals during the national Covid-19 lockdown has been given a four-and-a-half year jail term.
Wayne Bradley, 30, described by West Midlands Police as a career criminal, was arrested after targeting Birmingham’s children’s and women’s hospitals in April.
Bradley, from Kitts Gardens, Bartley Green, “conned and tailgated” medical staff to gain access into unauthorised areas, police said.
The burglar was already the subject of a Criminal Behaviour Order, banning him from local hospitals, after being found to have committed similar offences.
Bradley was arrested after stealing staff mobile phones from a restricted area within Birmingham Children’s Hospital on April 15, a week after taking a purse from Solihull Hospital.
Inquiries also linked Bradley to further offences committed at a care complex in Bournville and Birmingham Women’s Hospital, as well as the theft of a laptop from a cardiac unit at Birmingham Children’s Hospital.
Bradley pleaded guilty at Birmingham Crown Court on Wednesday and was sentenced for burglary offences and breaches of his Criminal Behaviour Order.
Sergeant Julia Slater commented: “Bradley is a callous and uncaring career criminal who has gone out of his way to deliberately target the most vulnerable in society.
“While the rest of the country was in lockdown doing all they could to stop the spread of the virus, he was going out to steal from those people most at risk, and most shocking of all, to steal from the selfless members of the NHS who were putting their own safety on the line to help save others.
“We are pleased to see the courts agreed with us about the seriousness of Bradley’s offending, and this sentence should keep the public safe for the foreseeable future.”
On Wednesday 15 April, Bradley entered a restricted area within Birmingham Children’s Hospital and stole staff mobile phones. One of the victims challenged him, but he managed to make excuses and run away.
Local officers began investigating with Birmingham’s Retail Bid patrol officers and managed to identify Bradley as the suspect. He was arrested and they started trawling CCTV of similar reports and found footage of him attending Solihull Hospital a week before and stealing a staff member’s purse. He had then gone on to nearby Tesco and Waitrose stores and began paying for his shopping with the stolen card.
On Saturday 11 April he had also gained access to an elderly care complex in Bournville and stole two electronic tablets which he forcibly removed from their mounts. Two days later he went to Birmingham Children’s Hospital and wandered around hospital corridors, before managing to get into the heart unit to steal a laptop.
The day before he was caught on 15 April, he went to the city’s Women’s Hospital and was seen trying to gain entry to several departments, including intensive care. He managed to eventually steal a midwife’s personal phone from the ante-natal unit.
All of the offences Bradley was involved in meant he had breached not only national Covid regulations, but also his CBO.
Yesterday (Wednesday 9 September), Bradley pleaded guilty at Birmingham Crown Court and was sentenced to four and a half years in prison for six burglary offences, three fraud offences, six breaches of his CBO and six breaches of Covid regulations.