Locker raiders jailed over sports centre thefts

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Two men were responsible for stealing £30,000 worth of property during a series of raids on lockers at sports centres.

Ashley Ward and Aaron Thompson stole customers’ valuables including electrical items and car keys.

Leeds Crown Court heard raids took place at Morley Leisure Centre, Rothwell Sports Centre and South Leeds Stadium in Leeds in June and July 2014.

Nick Adlington, prosecuting, said Ward and another unknown male went into Rothwell Sports Centre on June 26 and damaged a locker containing an iPhone and keys to Peugeot parked outside.

CCTV footage showed Ward leaving the reception area of the centre and the victim’s car then being driven away.

Ward and another man were also caught on camera paying to go swimming at South Leeds Stadium the next day. They were carrying towels as part of the deception.

They then broke into a locker in the changing area and stole the keys to a £13,000 Audi A4 which was parked outside.

A second locker was forced open and keys to a Ford Focus was taken. Both vehicles were then stolen from the car park.

Ward and Thompson then broke into a locker at Morley Leisure Centre on July 2.

Footage showed Ward leaving 19 minutes later holding a laptop.

While on bail awaiting sentence for the offences, Ward was arrested after being spotted behind the wheel of a stolen van in the Hunslet area of Leeds on February 27 last year.

Thompson carried out a burglary at a builder’s compound in Farnley and stole a steel saw and copper cabling.

Ward, 22, of Cromwell Mews, Mabgate, Leeds, pleaded guilty to seven offences of theft, handling stolen goods and theft of a vehicle.

Thompson, 25, of Cartmell Drive, Halton Moor, Leeds pleaded guilty theft, burglary and failing to surrender to custody.

Both were jailed for 12 months.