AN Oxford Mail reader led detectives to Liam Pipkin’s home where they found the thief with a copy of the paper open on the page featuring his ‘Wanted’ appeal.

Pipkin, who preyed on a 97-year-old pensioner, appeared in our pages after detectives issued an appeal to readers on April 3.

He had approached his elderly victim in a shop in Iffley Turn on March 10 and said he wanted to buy his car.

They went back to the pensioner’s house to discuss the sale and while there Pipkin stole £125 from the pensioner’s wallet while he was out of the room.

The 22-year-old agreed to buy the car and gave him some money but then Pipkin tricked him into handing over his bank card and PIN number on the pretext he was owed some change.

Pipkin, of no fixed abode, told the pensioner he would withdraw the cash and return but then disappeared. No attempt was made to use the card to withdraw money.

Pc Matthew Hodgetts said: “Pipkin was identified as the offender quite soon after the incident, but he soon became aware we were looking for him. We were trying a large number of addresses for him without success and appealed to the public to help us locate him.

“The day after an article appeared in the Oxford Mail we received an anonymous tip-off about his location from someone who had read the newspaper.

“When we attended the address, we found and arrested Pipkin.

“On the kitchen table in the premises was the newspaper open at the page of the article showing his face and stating he was wanted.”

After admitting the theft at Oxford Magistrates’ Court on April 12, Pipkin was sentenced to 22 weeks in prison.

And he wasn’t the only criminal served a court sentence after featuring in the Oxford Mail.

Thomas Pancott, 33, who appeared in our Badvent Christmas crime campaign, was sentenced to a mandatory three years in prison after pleading guilty to burglary on April 20.

Detectives interviewed him at HMP Gloucester on February 1 after his DNA was found on a metal bar used to break into a house in Church Hill Road in Iffley on December 12 where he stole two laptops and a camera.

Pancott had been at a residential treatment centre but had been expelled from the programme and recalled to prison.

He then went on the run and it was during this time he committed the Church Hill Road burglary.

Pc Hodgetts said: “Judge (Anthony) King quite rightly emphasised that the major wrong in a burglary of someone’s home is not the loss of the homeowner’s possessions but the loss of a sense of personal security due to having one’s privacy invaded.

“Given Pancott’s previous offending history, the mandatory sentence for a third dwelling burglary was inevitable.”