Leeds burglar stole a car - after telling police his plan

A burglar told police he would steal a car, after hearing his own vehicle would be seized because he had no insurance '“ and just over an hour later he did after breaking into a house.

Lewis Johnson, 31 of Cemetery Road, Beeston, Leeds

Leeds Crown Court heard Lewis Johnson was stopped by officers just after 9am on the morning of August 21 and accepted he had no insurance for the vehicle.

When he heard it would be seized he said: “I’ll just go and burgle a car then,” Bashir Ahmed, prosecuting, told the court.

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Around 10.15am an alarm was activated at an address in Selby Road, Leeds while the occupants were away on holiday.

Johnson had smashed a patio door and taken the keys to the family’s Ford Punto which he then drove away.

When police later found the vehicle there was blood on the gearstick and steering wheel matching Johnson, who at that time denied any involvement in the burglary, said Mr Ahmed.

He said the family had a nine-year-old child who had suffered sleepless nights since seeing the damage, which cost £845, at the house.

The court heard the defendant had previous convictions for house burglary and was on licence from his last 32 month sentence for burglary when he committed the offences in August.

Marcus Waite, representing him, said that after his release last December Johnson had made a real effort to stay away from drugs but had begun to relapse.

When he committed the burglary he did not go far into the house, he went in just to get the car keys and stole nothing else inside the property.

Since being back in prison on remand he was now on methadone and making progress to become drug free again.

Johnson, 31 of Cemetery Road, Beeston, Leeds admitted burglary and taking the car without consent.

Jailing him for 32 months, Judge Geoffrey Marson QC said he had a dreadful record due to his drug addiction and there had to be a prison sentence.

“Burglaries cause very great problems for families and in this case the nine-year-old child was badly affected,” he said.