Two men jailed after stealing £17,000 worth of Leeds United sportswear from industrial unit near Harrogate

Two burglars were caught red-handed after stealing £17,000 worth of Leeds United football sportswear from an industrial unit near Harrogate.
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Danny Bucknall, 41, and his 24-year cousin Kaney Barrett took more than 400 sportswear items including Leeds United football shirts after Bucknall, who once worked at the storage unit, used his knowledge of the site’s lay-out and the security code to the main gate to break into the compound on an industrial unit in Long Marston, York Crown Court heard.

Prosecutor Michael Cahill said that Bucknall, the “main driver” of the audacious raid on February 4, broke into the York House compound on Wetherby Road in his Vauxhall Astra, then summoned the help of Barrett to break into the unit a second time a few hours later, ostensibly to plunder more goods.

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But this time the cops were waiting for them after being alerted by a security company whose CCTV cameras captured two vehicles, a silver VW Golf and a Vauxhall Astra, on the compound around the business unit.

Danny Bucknall and Kaney Barrett have been jailed after stealing £17,000 worth of Leeds United sportswearDanny Bucknall and Kaney Barrett have been jailed after stealing £17,000 worth of Leeds United sportswear
Danny Bucknall and Kaney Barrett have been jailed after stealing £17,000 worth of Leeds United sportswear

When Barrett, a banned driver who was in the Volkswagen, realised that police had blocked the only exit point at the main gate with a marked vehicle, he tried to flee by driving around the industrial estate but was ultimately stopped and arrested after being pursued by officers.

Bucknall, who was driving the Astra, gave up when he realised the exit gate was blocked by a police vehicle.

A search of the vehicles revealed more than 400 sports-merchandise items, worth £17,000, which had been stolen from the business unit.

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Mr Cahill said police were initially called to the industrial site at about 11.35pm after reports that a silver hatchback had entered the compound.

However, when they arrived the vehicle had disappeared.

At about 1.30am the following morning, the security company called police again after the vehicle was driven back onto the site.

Officers returned to the compound and parked across the main gate, the only entry and exit point, to block any vehicles trying to get out.

Barrett stayed silent while being quizzed by cops, but Bucknall owned up to being the mastermind of the burglary plot.

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“He told police he had been to the unit previously on a work induction,” said Mr Cahill.

“He said he remembered the code for the gate and used this to gain entry (to the compound), then smashed a window to gain entry into the unit.”

Bucknall, of Baileys Crescent in Leeds, was charged with two counts of burglary as he had twice broken into the business unit.

Barrett, of Lingfield Drive in Leeds, was charged with one count of burglary, as well as driving while disqualified and without insurance.

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His offences were in breach of a suspended prison sentence imposed at Leeds Crown Court in February last year.

They both admitted the offences and appeared for sentence via video link today (February 27) after being remanded in custody.

The court heard that Bucknall had 80 previous offences on his record including conspiracy to burgle, robbery, shoplifting and handling stolen goods.

Barrett had racked up seven previous offences including driving while disqualified and failing to stop for police.

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Barrett’s solicitor advocate Ardian Pollard said that his client, a former college student, was only at the compound during the second raid when he was caught “red-handed”.

Ben Whittingham, for Bucknall, said his client, a father-of-three, had planned the raid after relapsing into drug use.

Judge Simon Hickey said it was clear that Bucknall was the “prime mover” in the industrial raid and that he had solicited the assistance of his cousin in carrying it out, although Barrett was also involved in planning the “sophisticated” burglary.

Barrett was jailed for 16 months for burglary, the driving matters and breaching a suspended prison sentence.

He was given a 20-month driving ban.

Bucknall, whose offences were aggravated by his long criminal record, was given a 12-month jail sentence.