Teenager burgled more than 100 student homes in Leeds

A TEENAGE burglar has been jailed for four years for breaking into more than 100 student homes in a three-month crime spree.

Liam Walker.

A judge told Liam Walker he had caused “misery” for many students in Leeds after he stole laptops and other electrical items which stored valuable course work.

Walker, 19, specialised in targeted multi-occupancy student properties in order to steal electrical items including lap tops, iphones and tablets.

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Walker, of Holborne Grove, Woodhouse, stole property worth £193,000 between July and October this year before being arrested.

Leeds Crown Court heard only £74,000 worth of the stolen items has since been recovered.

He also caused £3,420 worth of damage during the break-ins.

Walker pleaded guilty to one offence of burglary and asked for 118 further offences to be taken into consideration by the court.

Those offences are the result of break-ins at 40 student properties in which he went from room to room stealing valuables.

An example of the offending included Walker targeting a three-storey house on Manor Terrace, Headingley, on May 4 this year where ten students rented rooms.

The court heard the students living at the address decided to hold a party and invited 150 guests.

They also hired doormen for the night to ensure only those that were invited were allowed in.

All valuables in the property were moved into one of the rooms which was then padlocked.

Some of the students noticed that the padlock had been removed as the party was beginning to wind down at 5.30am.

When they entered the room Walker was in there with an unknown accomplice trying to remove a flat screen television.

He ran off but his fingerprints were discovered. Walker went on to commit over 100 offences before being arrested.

The court heard the teenager is a ‘fourth-strike’ burglar and has offences dating back to when he was aged 14.

In July last year he was given a detention order after he admitted to a burglary spree which included 95 offences.

Sajid Majid, mitigating, said “He was contacted by the police to see if he wished to clean his slate in the hope that when he is released he can turn his life around.

Jailing Walker, judge Geoffrey Marson, QC, said: “For a young man of 19 who has already committed 200 or more dwelling house burglaries it is a depressing state of affairs.”

After the case, Det Sgt Liam Walsh, of Leeds District Crime Team, said: “Walker is a prolific burglar whose widespread offending at such a relatively young age has impacted on the lives of a large number of people.

“I hope his victims and the wider community will take some comfort from knowing he has received a significant custodial sentence.

“His case is one which again illustrates the work we do under Operation Converter to get prolific offenders to ‘wipe the slate clean’ by admitting other crimes that they have committed which we would never have sufficient evidence to charge them with.

“This brings some closure to victims to know that the person responsible has admitted the offence and has been dealt with by the justice system.

“We hope Walker he will take the opportunity during his time in custody and on his eventual release to engage with the programmes that are available to help break his cycle of offending.”