A daring burglar who drove off in a car from a garage as mechanics were about to work on it has been jailed for three years.
The keys had been left inside the Subaru Imprezza and the first staff were aware of the theft was a crashing noise as it was driven off from the workshop at White’s garage in Otley with the driver’s door swinging open and the glass smashing as it left.
Alisha Kaye prosecuting told Leeds Crown Court one of the men working there had seen two men looking round cars on the forecourt earlier. The vehicle was later found abandoned in Headingley, Leeds.
The DNA of Duane Cale was found inside along with his fingerprints.
A few days later Cale and an accomplice struck at Hillycroft Nurseries in Back Lane, New Farnley, Leeds, where a £35,000 Audi was stolen while the owner was using a van belonging to the business.
When his father realised the vehicle had gone on June 2 he found the keys missing from a desk in the office and on checking the CCTV saw two men arriving in a vehicle, and one driving the Audi away.
A week later it was found in a nearby disused garage with different number plates and £2,000 damage. On June 11 the pair stole two vehicles from Lawton’s garage in Tadcaster after the keys were taken from behind the reception area.
A £23,000 Ford Ranger and a Mercedes worth £14,500 were driven off the forecourt but were later found abandoned. Cale, 29, of no fixed address, admitted the three burglaries, three charges of stealing vehicles and three of driving while disqualified.
Jailing him and disqualifying him from driving for two years, the Recorder of Leeds, Judge Peter Collier QC said the offences “reveal you to be one of the most brazen burglars I have come across in a very long time.”