A house burglar has been jailed for three years after he used “an implement” to snatch the keys to a car through a letterbox.

A judge said Adrian Ayton, 39, had deliberately targeted the house in Hob Lane, Crosland Moor, so he could drive off in a Ford Kuga vehicle which was parked outside.

It is understood that the keys to the £20,000 car, which was later recovered, were on staircase step about four feet away from the front door when Ayton managed to grab them during a night-time attack on the house in February 2015.

Bradford Crown Court heard that the householder was asleep at the time of the burglary but Ayton left some blood at the scene which was last linked to him by DNA analysis.

Ayton, of Pennine Gardens, Linthwaite , denied burgling the property and stealing the car keys, but he was found guilty by a jury following a trial.

A second man Kauser Habib, 44, of Everard Street, Crosland Moor , was convicted of handling stolen goods after he helped Ayton to “secret” the car after it had been taken.

Habib was sentence to 18 months in prison.

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Before sentencing Ayton Judge Robert Bartfield that he had served lengthy prison sentences for drugs offences and had committed a previous house burglary back in 1994.

Judge Bartfield said the defendants had been found guilty on the clearest possible evidence.

He said “an implement” had been used to take the car keys while the householder was asleep.

“This must have been planned,” he told Ayton.

“You would not have gone to these premises on the off chance. You’ve seen the Kuga, come back quite deliberately and used an implement.”