Professional burglar locked up after day-long crime spree



First published in Darlington and Stockton Times: Photograph of the Author by

A PROFESSIONAL burglar who left a dozen householders and car owners out-of-pocket during a day-long crime spree is behind bars.

Lee Haley was jailed for five years for what a Teesside Crown Court judge said was a series of raids which showed "a significant degree of planning".

Two of Haley's crimes were what are known as "two-in-one" burglaries where car keys are stolen before the home-owner's vehicle is driven off.

In the space of just a few hours, he took a Mini Countryman from Marton, Middlesbrough, and a Renault Megane from nearby Coulby Newham.

A further nine cars were broken into in the same areas, and items such as CDs, jewellery, power tools, MP3 music players and perfumes were stolen.

Haley's lawyer Graham Brown said the 39-year-old got depressed after struggling to get a job following his release from his latest jail sentence.

The court heard how he now has almost 100 offences on his record and was locked up for burglaries in 2003, 2009 and for four years in 2011.

Judge Howard Crowson described father-of-one Haley as "a professional burglar" and told him: "These matters are traumatic for householders."

He added: "Looking at your record, there was a significant degree of planning. You went out to burgle . . . a prolific series of offences."

Haley, of Woodlea, Coulby Newham, admitted three burglaries, two charges of taking a vehicle without consent, eight of theft and an attempted theft.

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