A TEENAGER who helped a ram raid gang target a supermarket and a post office was caught as he fled the wreckage of their get away car during a police chase.
Jordan Stewart acted as ‘lookout’ for the gang as they tried to reverse a stolen car through the shutters at the Co-op store in Swarcliffe.
The group fled after alarms were activated and police arrived at 1.30am on March 8 this year. The gang broke into Skelton Wood Post Office, Whinoor, a short time later. They used a stolen people carrier to smash their way into the premises before stealing £5,000 worth of cigarettes.
Leeds Crown Court heard the gang caused around £7,000 worth of damage in the two raids and a further £10,000 worth of damage when they ploughed into the wall of a house on Coal Road, Whinmoor, as police followed them through residential areas at speeds of up to 70mph. The gang members were all travelling in the people carrier when it veered onto the wrong side of the road and struck a parked car before hitting the wall.
Stewart, 18, was caught by police as he tried to run away. Officers found the key to the stolen vehicle used in the Co-op raid in his pocket.
Stewart, from Barncroft Drive, Seacroft, pleaded guilty to two offences of burglary and one of aggravated vehicle taking.
His lawyer Richard Reed described Stewart as “like a fish out of water” when he agreed to help the other gang members. Mr Reed said he became involved in order to settle a £200 cannabis bill he had built up with dealers.
He was given a two year prison sentence, suspended for two years, and ordered to do 100 hours unpaid work.