Drug addict who burgled Leeds B&M store caught red-handed as police drove back to Elland Road station

A burglar who stole power tools and scratchcards from a B&M store in Leeds was caught red-handed with the items when passing police officers recognised him from CCTV footage.

By Georgina Morris
Friday, 27th May 2022, 4:45 am

Darren Shaw and a second man were caught on camera acting suspiciously outside the store in Leeds South Retail Park during the early hours of May 3 this year.

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Leeds Crown Court heard police were alerted when a set of exterior doors were found to have been forced open, with it later emerging that night shift staff had forgotten to lower the shutters.

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The B&M store at South Leeds Retail Park. Picture: Google

Stock checks soon confirmed that four Black and Decker drills and assorted scratch cards had been taken, with the total value of the items stolen said to be around £800.

Prosecutor Kristina Goodwin said officers reviewed CCTV footage and searched the nearby area for the two suspects, but it was only when they were driving back to Leeds District Police Headquarters at Elland Road that they passed the pair walking along Dewsbury Road in Beeston.

Shaw had a drill hanging out of a pocket, another under his jacket and two more in a backpack which also contained a hacksaw, bolt cutters, a metal bar and a wrench.

He told police when interviewed that he had stolen the items to fund his crack addiction, but gave no comment about going to the store equipped with items to break in.

Shaw admitted burglary and going equipped for theft during an earlier hearing at Leeds Magistrates' Court.

The crown court heard that he had 44 convictions for 83 offences, including 35 for theft but none for burglary.

He had been jailed in December last year for shoplifting while in breach of a community order, and was subject to two Criminal Behaviour Orders at the time of the burglary.

Jazmine Lee, mitigating, said the burglary was motivated by his drug addiction, adding: "His drug habit forms the background of his entire life up to this day."

She said Shaw had been in a "darker place" ever since his partner took her life and it was then that he began using crack cocaine.

He had got clean from drugs while in prison last year but ended up living in a shared property with other addicts when he was released, leading him to start using again and be tempted into committing further offences.

Ms Lee said: "He did manage to get free from drugs in prison last time. He wants to be a functioning member of society. He wants to kick his addiction and get on the right path."

Sentencing him to 12 months in prison, Judge Robin Mairs told him: "You had obviously gone out that night with the intention of committing burglary."