Two rooftop raiders from Halifax have been jailed after they were caught fleeing from a burglary at a Huddersfield town centre jewellers having abandoned their loot.
Police were alerted about the activities of Kevin Webster and Lyndon Haley when the pair triggered the alarm at Beaverbrooks in King Street around 9pm on March 28.
Leeds Crown Court heard they had removed slates to get to a hatch in the roof space below and then had lowered a pair of step ladders to climb down.
Internal CCTV showed two men in dark clothing and balaclavas entering the shop area itself at 9.04pm.
James Weekes prosecuting said although they were only there for 90 seconds they smashed display cabinets and ransacked jewellery cases strewing broken glass across the floor as they loaded thousands of pounds worth of valuables into two holdalls.
A third man, never identified, was seen blocking internal doors with boxes to ensure their exit was clear.
But when police arrived so quickly they fled, abandoning one holdall in the shop and the other on the first floor as well as a small crowbar and two screwdrivers, as they raced to the roof to escape.
Mr Weekes said the burglars then climbed across a number of buildings to the nearby Five Bar where they climbed down to a roof terrace and used some stairs at the side of the club.
But police were able to track their movements on CCTV and they were arrested a short time later in the street.
Haley was wanted at the time for an earlier burglary at the Card Shop in Rotherham on December 14.
The assistant manager discovered the metal safe in an upstairs office had been tipped on to its side and a hole cut into the back during the previous night. The £1,650 cash inside had gone along with 150 books of stamps worth £558.
The intruder had taped novelty Christmas hats over the smoke detectors “presumably to stop them being triggered while the safe was cut open” said Mr Weekes. One of the tapes used had Haley’s DNA on it.
Haley had 26 previous convictions for 54 offences while Webster had 30 convictions for 76 offences.
Andrew Semple for Haley said he had an on-off drugs habit and had resorted to crime for financial reasons.
Stephen Wood for Webster said he expressed remorse for what he had done and accepted at his age he was getting too old to be involved in such offences.
Haley, 32 of Ovenden Way, Halifax, admitted both burglaries and was jailed for a total of three years and four months. Webster, 37 of Rugby Terrace, Halifax admitted the Beaverbrook offence and was jailed for two years.
Judge James Spencer QC said they were both “committed criminals.”
There had been a degree of planning involved in both burglaries with equipment taken to cut the safe in Rotherham by Hayes and other items at Huddersfield, where Webster had “readily” joined in.
“Had it not been for the efficiency of the alarm no doubt you would have helped yourselves to the valuable stock which was there,” the judge added.