Daniela McBride (pictured) is celebrating after the Wimbledon Prowler was caught
A victim of the Wimbledon Prowler breathed a sigh of relief tonight and said: ‘I can sleep soundly tonight at last.’
Daniela McBride and her husband Lars believe they were targeted at least three times by burglar thief Asdrit Kapaj.
The couple had £6,000 worth of jewellery and around £1,500 in cash stolen in the final raid in December 2015.
Mrs McBride spoke out after the 42-year-old thief – now in custody – admitted carrying out 24 burglaries in the well-heeled London suburb, targeting rich and famous residents.
Kapaj – who drove 200 miles south from his home in Altrincham, Manchester to go on his robbing sprees – counted tennis legend Boris Becker as one of his victims.
Retired teacher Mrs McBride, 67, told MailOnline: ‘I’m really pleased the police finally got him and that he’s admitted his guilt.
‘I just hope that I can get some of the jewellery back because it had a lot of sentimental value. But I’m not too sure I ever will.
‘It’s a horrible feeling knowing that a stranger has been inside your home and gone through all your personal belongings.’
She said the Prowler had first struck in 2013 when she had heard an intruder downstairs and noticed the next morning that £40 had gone from her purse.
In 2015 he stole more cash before returning for a final time in December that year and taking home a huge haul of stolen goods.
Asdrit Kapaj (pictured left in a mugshot and right in a CCTV image) admitted carrying out 24 burglaries in the well-heeled London suburb, targeting rich and famous residents
Mrs McBride said: ‘On both occasions we think he may have come in after forcing open the kitchen door, either there or a side door leading from the driveway.
‘It was the week before Christmas that my daughter noticed that her ring she kept in a jewellery box had gone, along with two bracelets that both sets of grandparents had given her.
‘I discoverer that a three-diamond ring had been taken from on top of my chest of drawers along with some of my necklaces and bracelets. My husband then found that his cuff links were missing.
‘Quite a bit of cash was stolen as well – both in pounds sterling and euros – probably amounting to £,1500.
‘After that, the police used our top room upstairs to stakeout the house and road for two weeks at night in the hope of catching him.
‘But they never did as he was obviously quite cunning.
A map shows how the Prowler targeted homes not far from Wimbledon’s famous tennis club
‘The police also set up cameras outside the house on the main road. Last summer I asked them if they’d got him and they said ‘not yet…but we’ve caught six other burglars’.’
Mrs McBride, a mother of three and grandmother of one, added: ‘Although we suspect he’s been here at least three times it could’ve been more.
‘He may have been stolen keys and had them cut secretly when we were away so he could keep coming back.
‘There’s a few times when I’ve noticed cash missing and can’t remember what I’ve done with it.
‘That’s how he started off, pinching small amounts so people didn’t necessarily realise they’d been burgled.
‘Frankly it doesn’t bear thinking about really but at least he’s where he belongs now and won’t be troubling us or others in Wimbledon for quite some time.’
The homes of German tennis legend Boris Becker (pictured left) and ex-Chelsea and Arsenal footballer Nicolas Anelka (pictured right) were among those hit
Kapaj appeared this afternoon at Kingston Crown Court where he pleaded guilty to the offence
He was remanded in custody for sentencing which will take place at the same court on June 21.
Wimbledon Village residents, including 81-year-old victim Philippa Beck, were in court to celebrate his guilty pleas.
Ms Beck, who was the gold watch owner, said she was amazed when she learned that the burglar was making a nearly 500-mile round trip to target the area.
His motivation, she suggested, may have been ‘a buzz’ rather than a necessity for money. She believes he regularly used her back garden as a through route.
Philippa Beck, 81, (left) was one of his victims. Laurie Porter (right), from Wimbledon neighbour watch, said residents would be ‘sleeping more easily’
Laurie Porter, chairwoman of the Wimbledon neighbour watch, said residents are ‘sleeping more easily’ now the man ‘creeping around our gardens and our streets’ is in custody.
‘I’m thrilled we don’t have to worry about this man wandering the streets of Wimbledon Village for the foreseeable future,’ she added.
Kapaj carried out most of his raids at night, wearing a trademark fishing hat. One of the properties he stole from is believed to be worth £7.3million.
A woman at the well-secured red-brick mansion declined to comment today but said her family had been among the victims.
Rona Cruickshank said: ‘I saw on the news about the Wimbledon Prowler’ but added: ‘We do not want to comment any further’.