'Idiotic' burglar caught after leaving his blood at scene in Leeds Co-op store raid

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A career burglar who smashed his way into a Leeds Co-op store and stole £4,000 worth of cigarettes and booze was caught after he left his blood at the scene.

Alex Owens was locked up for 20 months over the raid at the store in Alwoodley on June 8 this year.

Alex Owens was jailed for 20 months for burglary at Co-op store in Alwoodley.

Alex Owens was jailed for 20 months for burglary at Co-op store in Alwoodley.

Leeds Crown Court heard Owens was part of a gang who used weapons including an axe to smash their way into the premises in the early hours of the morning.

Roller shutters were forced and a glass door was smashed before alcohol and cigarettes worth £4,300 were taken.

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None of the stolen goods have been recovered.

Andrew Horton, prosecuting, said Owens has a history of commercial and domestic burglary and was linked to the offences after his blood was recovered from the scene.

Owens, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to burglary.

He has 35 convictions for 63 offences.

Mr Horton described the defendant as a "career burglar".

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Alexandra Sutton, mitigating, said Owens committed the offence at a time when he was homeless after splitting up with his partner.

Miss Sutton said Owens agreed to take part in the burglary after getting involved with former criminal associates.

She added: "He knows it was an idiotic decision."

Judge Simon Phillips, QC, told "Your blood was left at the scene and some may say you had little alternative other than to admit complicity in the offence."