Metal store

A drug addict who robbed the B&M store in Leeds was caught in the act as police returned to Elland Road station

Darren Shaw and a second man were filmed acting suspiciously outside the Leeds South Retail Park store in the early hours of May 3 this year.

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Leeds Crown Court heard police were alerted when a set of exterior doors were forced open, and it later emerged night staff had forgotten to lower the shutters.

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The B&M store in South Leeds Retail Park. Image: Google

Stock checks quickly confirmed that four Black and Decker drills and matching scratch cards had been taken, with the total value of the items stolen being around £800.

Prosecutor Kristina Goodwin said officers reviewed CCTV footage and searched the area for the two suspects, but it wasn’t until they returned to Leeds District Police headquarters in Elland Road that they passed the couple walking along Dewsbury Road in Beeston.

Shaw had a drill sticking out of a pocket, another under his jacket, and two more in a backpack that also contained a hacksaw, bolt cutters, metal bar, and wrench.

During questioning, he told police he stole the items to fund his crack addiction, but made no comment about going to the store equipped with items to rob.

Shaw admitted to burglary and being equipped for theft at an earlier hearing at Leeds Magistrates’ Court.

Crown Court heard he had 44 convictions for 83 offenses, including 35 for theft but none for burglary.

He had been jailed in December last year for shoplifting while breaching a community ordinance and was the subject of two criminal behavior orders at the time of the burglary.

Mitigating Jazmine Lee said the burglary was motivated by her drug addiction, adding: ‘Her drug habit forms the backbone of her entire life to this day.

She said Shaw has been in a “darker place” since his partner took his own life and that’s when he started using crack cocaine.

He had gotten off drugs in prison last year, but ended up living on shared property with other drug addicts when he was released, which led him to start using again and be tempted to commit other offences.

Ms Lee said: “He was able to break free from drugs in prison last time. He wants to be a functioning member of society. He wants to kick his addiction and get on the right track.”

Sentencing him to 12 months in prison, Judge Robin Mairs told him: “You were obviously out that night with the intention of committing burglary.