Burglars rammed police car to escape after £31,000 double heist

A gang of burglars stole more than £31,000 during two heists in a single morning, then rammed a police vehicle to escape, a court was told.

Friday, 30th July 2021, 8:34 am

Rocky Smith, 45, John Smith, 20, and Douglas Price,19 were in a white van that was pursued by a police car, then the police helicopter after a double heist at commercial premises in Knottingley, Leeds Crown Court was told.

Prosecutor Helena Williams told the court that the van approached the Ardagh Glass Ltd on Headlands Lane, Knottingley, at around 5am on November 11 last year.

The security guard, thinking the driver was a site manager, waved them through.

Rocky Smith was the only member to be given immediate jail after targeting two companies, including Kingspan (pictured).

After gaining entry to the building they stole 12 glass moulds, four batteries and seven brass moulds with a combined worth of around £28,000.

The security saw what they were doing and called the police before they drove off.

At 6.11am they were captured on CCTV breaking into Kingspan Water and Energy at Tadman Street in Wakefield and stole copper spinnings worth £3,400.

The police arrived and they set off on a chase of the van. At one point the van stopped and reversed into the police vehicle twice, leaving it unable to continue the pursuit.

The police helicopter was then scrambled and tracked the van to Navvy Lane at Notton where the three got out and tried to cover it in wooden planks before getting into a Kia.

They were stopped and arrested a short time later. They gave 'no comment' interviews.

All three eventually admitted two charges of burglary.

The court was told that Rocky Smith, of The Sycamores, Byram, had 27 previous convictions for 46 offences, including a number of non-dwelling burglaries.

Mitigating, Jonathan Turner said that father-of-five Smith said it had been nine years since his last burglary conviction, and that the items they stole would have had little financial gain, only the value of scrap.

Mitigating for John Smith, also of The Sycamores, Satpal Roth-Sharma said: "He regrets his involvement but it's too late and he has to face the consequences."

Gareth Henderson-Moore, representing Price, who lives at Heath Caravan Park in Wakefield, said: "He understands the stupidity of his actions and accepts responsibility."

Recorder Ashley Serr jailed Rocky Smith for four years and told him: "You have a lengthy criminal record. It was a sophisticated endeavour, you knew what you were likely to obtain. You are a career criminal."

However, he gave John Smith and Price 16 months' jail but suspended it for two years and gave them 150 hours of unpaid work.