Smash-and-grab-burglar stole handbags worth £13,000 from Leeds store

A PROFESSIONAL burglar stole more than £13,000 worth of designer handbags during a series of smash-and-grab raids at business premises in Leeds.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 18th May 2018, 3:45 pm
Updated Friday, 18th May 2018, 3:46 pm
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Andrew Lasota was locked up for three years, nine months over the offences at a Leeds city centre store and a pharmacy in Horsforth.

Leeds Crown Court heard Lasota smashed a window to get into Mitchell’s Chemist, on New Road Side, in the early hours of March 10 this year.

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Lasota, 53, stole £2000 worth of perfume and aftershave.

Laura Addy, prosecuting, said Lasota smashed his way into House of Fraser, on Briggate, on March 14 at 6.10am.

Lasota stole 12 Mulberry handbags, worth £9,000, from a display.

He returned to the same store on the morning of March 28 and stole more mulberry handbags, worth £4,000, and £6,000 worth of Tom Ford beauty products.

Miss Addy said Lasota had been caught on CCTV wearing a distinctive jacket when he carried out the burglaries.

Police arrested him on Boar Lane on April 4 as he was wearing the jacket.

His home was searched and a pair of trainers and a scarf which he wore during the break-ins were found in the property.

None of the stolen property was recovered.

Lasota, of Autumn Terrace, Hyde Park, pleaded guilty to three offences of burglary.

The court heard he has 61 previous convictions for 135 offences.

He has served prison sentences for burglary.

Marcus Waite, prosecuting, said Lasota had been released from prison on licence in January.

He said the offences were committed as Lasota had to pay off drug debts which he had built up while in jail.

Judge James Spencer, QC, said: “You knew they were high value articles there and that is how you make a living.

“You have to be sentenced as a professional thief.

“It is time you got a proper sentence.