Three men caught on camera trying to steal from vans in Leeds

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Three men caught trying to steal items from Mercedes vans on a south Leeds industrial estate were arrested after being caught on CCTV, a court heard.

Daniel Holmes, Nathan Meadowcroft and Jake Cockerham were attempting to steal items from inside the two Mercedes Sprinter vans belonging to Lanes For Drains, Leeds Magistrates' Court heard.

Matthew Robinson, prosecuting, said the three men got through a fence into the compound at the industrial estate on Parkside Lane just before 8.30pm on February 12.

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Mr Robinson said Cockerham took a shovel from the back of one van and used it to open a door before looking in the van for items to steal.

Leeds Magistrates' CourtLeeds Magistrates' Court
Leeds Magistrates' Court | other

All three defendants were caught on CCTV looking inside a second Mercedes van.

The court heard the three men left the compound after being disturbed.

Police were called to the scene and the three men were arrested nearby.

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Holmes, 28, Meadowcroft, 28, and Cockerham, 22, admitted two charges of attempt theft from a motor vehicle.

Holmes, of Mitford Place, Armley, has three previous convictions for three offences; Meadowcroft, of Windmill Road, Leeds, has one previous conviction for one offence of handling stolen goods and Cockerham, of no fixed abode, has two previous convictions for two offences.

Natalie McMmullan , mitigating for all three defendants, said: "They were cutting through the site. There were already holes in the fence."

A probation officer said after interviewing Holmes: "He said he didn't intend to steal anything and claims he didn't try any doors, but he accepts he was with a group of people doing that."

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A probation officer said after interviewing Meadowcroft: "He tried a number of doors. He said it wasn't premeditated - it was an on the spot decision they all took together."

District Judge Marie Mallon sentenced each defendant to a 12 month community order plus 80 hours of unpaid work.

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