A gang of “ruthless” masked criminals, who stole expensive cars and jewellery, have been jailed after they were linked to a series of professional burglaries at homes across Leeds.
Leeds Crown Court heard the gang were prepared to use violence during the raids which saw them steal children’s money boxes and wedding presents.
Tom Murphy and Ryan Jordan were involved in at least six offences which took place in May and June last year, a court heard.
Steven Wood said specialist tools were used to gain entry to homes which were often broken in to minutes after the owners had gone out.
A Mini worth £5,000 was taken from the driveway of a family home on Becketts Park Crescent, Headingley, on May 2.
A house on Old Oak Drive, West Park, was targeted on May 10 and burglars stole jewellery and money boxes belonging to the children who lived there.
A 71-year-old woman was followed as she parked her Audi on Sherwood Drive, Woodlesford on May 16.
Murphy stole the vehicle when the women left the keys in the lock as she went inside her home to turn off the alarm.
On the same day, Jordan and Murphy were involved in a raid on a house on Lea Farm Drive, Kirkstall.
The home was decorated for wedding celebrations at the time of the offence.
The family who lived there returned home to find that the property had been burgled.
An S Type Jaguar, high value jewellery and wedding presents were stolen.
The pair were involved in a break-in at a house on Kenworthy Gate, Adel, on June 2. An elderly woman who lived next door was attacked when she went to investigate after hearing a back door being smashed in. The woman was pushed to the ground and hit her head when she disturbed the men inside the property.
Murphy and Jordan were also caught on CCTV at a shop in the Penny Hill Centre, Hunslet, selling electrical equipment stolen in a break-in at a house on Lingwell Court, Middleton.
Police received information that Murphy and Jordan were in Clyde Court, Wortley. When officers arrived they saw Jordan’s girlfriend, Bernadette Wlison, in a car with Jack Cox.
Cox ran from the car but into a garden but was arrested in possession of a pillow case which contained car keys and jewellery stolen in the burglaries.
Cox’s mobile phone was seized and he was linked to a significant drug dealing operation.
Those sentenced were: Tom Murphy, 24, of East Grange rise, Belle Isle, jailed for six years after pleading guilty to three offences of burglary and one of handling stolen goods.
Ryan Jordan, 26, of Second Avenue, Armley, pleaded guilty to four offences of burglary and one of handling stolen goods and was jailed for six years.
Jack Cox, 21, of Kirk Beeston Close, pleaded guilty to handling stolen goods, pleaded guilty to handling stolen goods and supplying class A and B drugs. He was jailed for two years eight months.
Bernadette Wilson, 31, of Rillbank Lane, Woodhouse, pleaded guilty to handling stolen good and theft and was jailed for 12 months.
Detective Inspector Neil Thompson, of Leeds District Neighbourhood Crime Team, said: “This was an organised gang of offenders that were responsible for a significant series of burglaries that had a traumatic impact on the lives of a number of victims across Leeds.
“They showed a complete disregard for their victims - stealing children’s money boxes and wedding presents - and were prepared to use violence against a woman who confronted them at one home they targeted.
“We hope it will provide some reassurance to their victims to see them sent to jail and also serve as a warning to others who think they can continue to offend without facing the consequences.
“Burglary is a crime that has a serious impact on our communities and we will continue to use all available tactics to bring to justice those who commit these offences as well as those who deal in stolen goods.”