Pipe thief caused gas leak and thousands of pounds of damage

A burglar who caused thousands of pounds in damage when he tried to steal copper piping from two properties in Halifax has been jailed for a total of 21 months.

Last August Daniel John Craggs and an accomplice ripped out pipework after forcing their way into the cellar of an unoccupied house on Fenton Road.

Prosecutor David McGonigal told Bradford Crown Court that neighbours heard banging during the early hours and the two men were seen leaving the scene with piping in a laundry basket.

The two men were arrested, but the court heard that the break-in caused a gas leak at the property and the damage bill was estimated to be around £1,000.

Craggs was on bail for that offence when he and another man burgled an unoccupied flat in Mixenden Court last month.

The defendant was living in the same block of flats at the time and when other tenants alerted a security officer he locked the door to the third-floor flat trapping Craggs and his accomplice inside.

Mr McGonigal said when police officers arrived Craggs was threatening to jump off the balcony, but he was eventually arrested after a struggle.

The court heard that the men had stripped out radiators and copper piping from rooms in the flat and had even taken out the kitchen sink.

Mr McGonigal said the damage was estimated at between £2,000 and £3,000, but water which into other flats in the block also caused damage costing a further £200.

Craggs admitted both burglary offences and further allegations of criminal damage relating to the water damage.

He also pleaded guilty to handling a stolen camera which had been taken in a house burglary in July.

Judge John Potter rejected the suggestion that Craggs’ offending could be described as petty.