Man, 20, ad­mits role in £13k store raid

Rossendale Free Press - - Front Page -

JON MACPHER­SON

ABURGLAR who stole £13,300 worth of cash, al­co­hol and cig­a­rettes from a con­ve­nience store has been locked up.

Reece Mead, 20, and two other un­known of­fend­ers tar­geted the Premier Mini-Mart on Burn­ley Road East in Water­foot in the early hours of Fe­bru­ary 27 this year.

Pros­e­cu­tor Stephen Parker told Burn­ley Crown Court how the of­fend­ers used a white van to force open the metal shut­ters at the back of the store.

They were then ob­served by a neigh­bour, who was awo­ken by bang­ing noises, load­ing ‘large quan­ti­ties’ of al­co­hol and cash into the van.

The court heard how they then used a rope to drag a cash ma­chine con­tain­ing around £3,500 onto the ve­hi­cle.

Mr Parker said by the time po­lice ar­rived at the scene the men had fled with £6,500 in cig­a­rettes, £1,000 in spir­its and £2,300 cash from the till.

The court heard how the owner was in­sured for the £13,300 theft but not for the £3,500 dam­age costs to re­pair the shut­ters and rear doors.

Lan­cashire Po­lice is­sued a CCTV ap­peal for in­for­ma­tion fol­low­ing the in­ci­dent and the court was told how Mead handed him­self into Greater Manch­ester Po­lice in Rochdale af­ter see­ing the ap­peal on­line.

He told of­fi­cers: “I handed my­self in be­cause I wasn’t wear­ing gloves and both my mates were.

“So I didn’t want to be stuck in a cell when I was off my head and wanted to have clean clothes on and be clear in my head so I thought I’d hand my­self in.”

Mr Parker said Mead re­fused to name his two ac­com­plices.

Mead, of Cot­tage Bank Way, Rochdale, pleaded guilty to bur­glary at Burn­ley Crown Court and was sent to a young of­fend­ers in­sti­tu­tion ( YOI) for 32 months.

The court heard how the de­fen­dant has three pre­vi­ous con­vic­tions for bur­glary of­fences and was also sent to a YOI in 2016 for 10 months.

Judge Si­mon Med­land QC said Mead had a ‘poor crim­i­nal record’ and it was a ‘pro­fes­sional, planned, night-time bur­glary’.

Sen­tenc­ing, he said: “You were dis­guised and a high value of read­ily saleable goods and cash were stolen. There was about £3,500 of costs which are unin­sured for the pro­pri­etor of those premises, who was then pre­vented from un­der­tak­ing the valu­able pub­lic ser­vice that all con­ve­nience shops like that pro­vide to ev­ery­body.” ●● One of the raiders dur­ing the theft at the Premier Mini-Mart in Water­foot

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