Harehills couple locked would-be thief in their Honda CRV after they caught him stealing

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A couple locked a would-be thief in their car when they spotted him inside the vehicle looking through their glovebox.

Alex Mata was spotted inside the man’s Honda CRV parked outside the house on Foundary Place in Harehills at around midnight on June 13, Leeds Crown Court heard.

Prosecutor Harry Crowson said the pair then quickly ran out and locked the car doors, effectively trapping the 20-year-old in the vehicle until the police arrived.

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Having been arrested and taken to the police station, Mata then refused to come out of his cell to be interviewed and when officers tried to quiz him where he was, he refused to answer questions.

Mata targeted the vehicle parked on Foundary Place in Harehills. (pic by National World / Google Maps)Mata targeted the vehicle parked on Foundary Place in Harehills. (pic by National World / Google Maps)
Mata targeted the vehicle parked on Foundary Place in Harehills. (pic by National World / Google Maps)

He was bailed but then failed to turn up for a hearing at Leeds Magistrates’ Court on July 13 and a warrant put out for his arrest. He was detained and brought before the court two weeks later where he admitted attempted theft from a vehicle, and failing to surrender to custody.

The offences also put him in breach of a suspended sentence he received in April for burglary. Mr Crowson said that none of the 200 hours of community service he was given for that matter had been completed, and his compliance with probation had been “poor to say the least”.

The court heard that Mata, of Hovingham Terrace, Harehills, has six previous convictions for seven offences.

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Mitigating, Olivia Fraser said: “He does not wish to make excuses. He does not try to minimise his actions, he has no explanation for the lack of work and apologises to the court.”

Miss Fraser said that Mata had been affected by illnesses to both his mother and father, but she was quickly interrupted by Judge Christopher Batty, who said: “I’m not buying this at all. There’s no way he has told anyone about this, it’s the first time I’ve heard this.

"He has done nothing, and at the moment I’m going to be activating this suspended sentence in full.”

After a brief discussion with Mata, Miss Fraser opted not to pursue this line of mitigation.

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Judge Batty told Mata: “The court has given you over the years quite a few chances.” He jailed him for 15 months, made up of 14 months activated of his suspended sentence, with an additional one month for the attempted theft.