Teenage prolific thieves who plagued car owners across Hyndburn have been locked up.
Jordan Woodburn and Tyler Branche targeted garages and cars in Accrington, Huncoat and Clayton-le-Moors, causing a ‘significant amount of harm, loss and inconvenience’ to the victims.
Woodburn, 19, of Lower Barnes Street, Accrington, pleaded guilty at Burnley Crown Court to burglary and theft from motor vehicles, and separate offences of attempted burglary, theft and interfering with motor vehicles.
He was sent to a young offenders’ institute for 10 months.
Branche, 18, of Higher Antley Street, Accrington, pleaded guilty to burglary and theft from motor vehicles and a separate offence of handling stolen goods, and was locked up for six months.
Katie Hammond, prosecuting, told the court both defendants took part on a ‘crime spree’ in the Dent Dale area of Accrington in November last year.
Officers were called to the area and neighbours reported seeing men wearing hoods and gloves breaking into vehicles on Askrigg Close before running towards Aysgarth Drive carrying a power tools box.
Miss Hammond said when they were arrested Woodburn was found with ‘three distinctive darts’ from a garage on Dent Dale, and Branche had acted as a ‘lookout’.
Branche on his own had also targeted another garage and removed a drill and leaf blower.
The court heard how both defendants were involved in the theft of a phone and keys from a Peugeot car, a key fob and a bluetooth headset from another vehicle and the theft of a tennis equipment bag and other items from a third car.
Woodburn was also found with cigarettes and lighters which had been stolen from another car.
Miss Hammond said when Woodburn was arrested and bailed he then stole an ignition key from a Toyota Starlet in Huncoat in March this year before stealing a driver’s licence and bank card from a black Ford Focus C-Max car in Clayton-le-Moors in April.
The court heard how Branche was also caught with a mobile phone which had been stolen from a house party in September last year.
Branche told police that he left the party with others and ‘became aware one of those had the phone’.
He said he knew it was stolen and took it off them to sell.
Defence barrister Jeremy Lasker said Woodburn is ‘immature’ and if he ‘does not change his ways then he’s likely to re-offend again in the future’.
He told the court: “It’s really the repetitive nature of this offending and the failure of this young man to take heed and change his ways that are as serious and worrying as the nature
of the offences themselves.
“He caused a good deal of harm, loss and inconvenience to those householders and a significant amount of money would have been paid to replace the items.”
Mr Laster said Woodburn had already done the equivalent of a six-month sentence while on remand in custody.
Richard Prew, defending Branche, said he had fallen back into crime after a ‘three-year hiatus’.
He said: “He went to college and tried to better himself and started to live in his own house. His lifestyle skills were simply not good enough and he could not budget and pay the bills. He ended up in the Accrington area and became homeless and sleeping at friends’ houses.
“Peer group pressure was perhaps too much for him. He easily allowed himself to reintegrate into the life he was trying to get away from.”