Leeds University dance class burglar caught on bus

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A BURGLAR stole thousands of pounds worth of valuables belonging to members of a dance class after breaking into changing rooms at Leeds University.

Mark Devine was arrested on a bus as he travelled home from the break-in thanks to tracking software on a mobile phone he had stolen.

Leeds Crown Court heard Devine, 40, had been released from prison just two weeks before he carried out the burglary at premises belonging to the university on November 2 this year.

He forced entry to a staff room in the mechanical engineering building before taking a camera and a charger.

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Devine then forced his way into changing rooms in the performing arts building and searched gym bags belonging to members of a dance class.

Mobile phones, jewellery, identification documents and debit cards were taken.

Devine hid some of the stolen property in a bag before leaving on the bus with other items.

A stolen iPhone was fitted with tracking software which enabled police to arrest Devine in possession of it on board a bus.

Devine, of Hemingway Garth, Hunslet, pleaded guilty to two offences of burglary.

The court heard he has 45 previous convictions, mainly for dishonesty offences.

Stuart Field, mitigating, said Devine had “reverted to type” after being released from prison as he was unable to obtain any money to buy food.

Mr Field said Devine had been offered help from a charity but they were closed when he went to ask them for some food.

Mr Field said Devine had pleaded guilty to the offences at the earliest opportunity.

Devine was jailed for 12 months.

Recorder Nicholas Barker told him: “It seems to me that given your record, which is very poor, it is quite out of the question for me to pass a sentence other than immediate custody.”

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