Police caught two burglars hiding in bushes after calling in a dog unit to track them, a court heard.

Officers spotted the burglary in progress at the Texaco service station in Brockholes in the early hours of July 2 after the intruders had jemmied off security shutters and smashed a window to get inside.

Leeds Crown Court heard a crowbar was left at the scene as they fled taking a box containing the till float. They were seen running into the car park of a pub opposite, one of them wearing a balaclava.

Jessica Strange, prosecuting, said officers called in a dog unit and began searching the area. They found the box with only a few coins left in it had been discarded and the balaclava was hanging on a branch nearby.

Jamie Marcel Letremy and James Winter were then found hiding in undergrowth by the police dog. Letremy had £140 in bank notes on him from the float. The balaclava was later examined and found to have mixed DNA from both men.

Leeds Crown Court
Leeds Crown Court

Miss Strange said Letremy had already committed two earlier commercial burglaries. The first was at QUD store in Birkby on June 2 when a metal shutter was forced open and cigarettes and tobacco worth over £2,000 was stolen.

On June 30 a similar burglary took place at the Co-op in Meltham when a car jack which was used to force the external security shutter had been left at the scene.

A glass panel in the door behind the shutter was smashed to gain entry and a cigarette display cabinet was prized open and £747 worth of cigarettes and tobacco stolen. When police attended they recovered a rucksack and a pair of gardening gloves near the cabinet and Letremy’s DNA was found on them.

The Co-op in Meltham
The Co-op in Meltham

Two men had burgled each of those premises but the second man had not been identified, she said.

Michael Greenhalgh, representing Letremy, said drug addiction had been his problem in the past. He had made some progress in the community when released from his last sentence and was prescribed medication but due to being late for an appointment stopped getting his prescription.

Life became unstable for him resulting in him “sofa surfing” at the home of friends and committing the offences to support his addiction. Since being in prison he had completed a detoxification course and had a responsible job working in the prison kitchens.

In mitigation for Winter, Mr Greenhalgh said he had started drinking after being laid off at work and that led to the involvement in his one offence.

Letremy, 33 of no fixed address was jailed for two years four months after admitting three burglaries. Winter, 32 of Milne Road, Birkby admitted one burglary and was jailed for six months.