A judge slammed the burglars who are a ‘blight’ on communities across the city as he jailed a prolific career criminal.
Damien Atkinson, 31, was locked up yesterday (March 13) after appearing before the courts for the tenth time on burglary charges.
Both he and his accomplice Stewart Stevenson, 22, had admitted entering a house on Airedale View, Rodley, Leeds, on January 10.
They stole a laptop computer and a charger as well as bags and their contents from inside.
The court heard that the pair had gone out that evening looking for houses to break into and had found a set of keys outside one of the homes which the owner had dropped as she left earlier that afternoon.
The pair were spotted by a neighbour, who saw them outside the house before one of them entered wearing gloves, the court heard.
He alerted the police and when officers arrived, they saw the men crouched behind a parked vehicle nearby.
The court heard police then found the laptop under the car and both men were arrested.
Both pleaded guilty to burglary.
Judge Christopher Batty jailed Atkinson, of Sycamore Row, Bramley, for 40 months, telling him: “You are a burglar. This is what you do. People have to understand if they burgle houses in Leeds they go to custody.
“And those who do it prolifically will go for a long time.”
Stevenson, of West Way, Farnley, was given a 16-month suspended sentence after the judge accepted he was “led into” the offence by Atkinson.
Judge Batty added: “Leeds has a burglary problem – a significant burglary problem. It is getting better but there is a significant blight on our communities by people who go into houses and there is a significant community impact.”