Barnsley thefts gang jailed

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A gang of thieves from Barnsley masterminded an operation to steal thousands of pounds worth of DIY goods from stores across the north.

Peter Nathaniel Wild, Ian Parkin and Michael Kitching carried out a series of thefts at branches of B&Q over a period of several months.

Nearly £15,000 of electrical goods, showers and DIY equipment were taken.

Leeds Crown Court heard how stings would usually start by the gang selecting a store, getting a trolley and filling it with items.

They would then wheel them into the garden section outside the main building and hide the equipment among the goods there, but near the security fence.

After leaving the store, they would return at night, cut a hole in the fence and make off with items ranging from lawn mowers to Karcher washers.

The men were caught by police in July, when they were found driving around Barnsley in a car containing balaclavas, bolt croppers, a jemmy and bags of B&Q goods.

Wild, aged 39 of Brockfield Close, Worsbrough, Parkin, 33, of Bank End Avenue, Worsbrough, and Kitching, 42, of Hilltop, Brierley, all Barnsley, admitted conspiracy to steal from B&Q.

Wild also asked for five other offences of theft to be taken into consideration.

Jailing each for two years, Judge Tom Bayliss QC said: “This was well organised group gang activity.”