A TEENAGE burglar with 44 previous convictions who stole a family’s 4x4 in the middle of the night has been locked up for three years.
Jordan Fay, aged 18, took the Land Rover Freelander from outside a house after stealing the keys from behind the front door.
Sheffield Crown Court heard he travelled around with pal Aaron Firth, 20, before they fled across fields – and the police helicopter was dispatched to hunt them down.
Louise Gallagher, prosecuting, said the Land Rover was locked up outside the Preece family home on Batty Avenue, Cudworth, Barnsley, on September 16 last year.
“Mr and Mrs Preece had fallen asleep in their living room that evening and, at around midnight, their daughter had come home,” she said.
Ms Gallagher said the couple’s daughter had arranged for her boyfriend to come round later, and left the door on the latch so he could let himself in.
Her boyfriend arrived at 12.35am, and at 6.55am the next morning mum Gail Preece let the dogs out and noticed the Freelander was missing.
“It isn’t clear whether the latch was taken off,” Ms Gallagher told the court.
Fay and Firth were spotted in the stolen vehicle by police, who saw them running across fields. Firth was caught first, and Fay was found hiding in a tree.
CCTV footage showed them driving the Land Rover, valued at £3,700, into a petrol station.
In interview Fay initially made no comment, but admitted he was subject to an ASBO, while Firth said he’d been drinking and admitted knowing the vehicle was stolen.
In a statement, Mrs Preece said it cost her ‘a lot of money’ to get the car back and change the locks and she had been left feeling ‘scared and paranoid’ about what could have happened.
Fay, of Crown Avenue, Cudworth, admitted burglary and taking without consent, and asked for four other offences to be taken into consideration.
Firth, of Southfield Road, Cudworth, admitted taking a vehicle without consent.
Judge Alan Goldsack QC told Fay: “You’ve had numerous non-custodial sentences each of which you’ve basically ignored – you’ve simply carried on offending.”
Fay was given three years in a young offenders’ institution and Firth was fined £300.