Crash! Bun­gled ram- raid lands thief in prison

Solihull News - - NEWS - ROSS McCARTHY ross. mccarthy@ reach­plc. com

A BUNGLING su­per­mar­ket ram- raider sped off with bags of cig­a­rettes and cham­pagne – but was caught by po­lice af­ter CRASH­ING his car.

Leroy King, 39, was part of a gang who tar­geted a Sains­bury’s store in Haslucks Green Road, Solihull, in a late- night at­tack on May 4.

They spent five noisy min­utes try­ing to get into store – and an alert res­i­dent phoned the po­lice, who were rapidly on the scene and, fol­low­ing a high- speed chase, of­fi­cers caught King af­ter he crashed his car.

The crook, for­merly of Yard­ley Road, Yard­ley, was jailed for four years af­ter pre­vi­ously ad­mit­ting bur­glary and dan­ger­ous driv­ing.

Birm­ing­ham Crown Court heard that the raid took place on May 4, when a lo­cal res­i­dent was awo­ken by the noise of a car mount­ing the kerb near his home in Haslucks Green Road.

He saw two men, wear­ing bal­a­clavas, at­tach­ing a rope from the bumper of a Re­nault Scenic to the shut­ters of a Sains­bury’s – and at­tempt­ing to pull them off

But the bid failed be­cause the rope fell off and the gang re­sorted to driv­ing into the shut­ters, even­tu­ally gain­ing en­try.

The in­ci­dent lasted for about five min­utes and, af­ter load­ing the ve­hi­cle with the booty, King drove off, but po­lice were quickly on his tail.

There was a pur­suit through the roads of Billes­ley with the Scenic trav­el­ling at 60mph on roads with a 30mph limit.

King even­tu­ally lost con­trol and col­lided with two parked cars, caus­ing ex­ten­sive dam­age, be­fore run­ning off. Lal Amaras­inghe, pros­e­cut­ing, said King tried to es­cape by go­ing through some com­mu­nal flat doors but was pur­sued by an of­fi­cer with a dog.

The crook was ar­rested and sus­tained a num­ber of bites.

Mr Amaras­inghe said the value of the goods taken was low but raiders had caused £ 50,000- wor­rth of dam­age to the su­per­mar­ket.

Judge Pa­trick Thomas QC said: “This is a sig­nifi- cant es­ca­la­tion of your of­fend­ing and in­volved a care­fully planned, al­though not ac­tu­ally well ex­e­cuted bur­glary, smash­ing your way into a su­per­mar­ket.”

Jabeen Akhtar, de­fend­ing, said King com­mit­ted of­fences to fund a drug ad­dic­tion and at the time he had ef­fec­tively been home­less.

“This was a lot of ef­fort for some­thing that was not worth very much at all – a few bot­tles of al­co­hol and cig­a­rettes,” he said.

Leroy King and the dam­age to the Sains­bury’s store

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