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Burglar Mark McDonnell is sent to prison
8:41am Wednesday 6th March 2013 in News
TWO quick-witted members of the public have ended the travels of a career burglar who drove up and down the roads of North Yorkshire looking for houses to raid.
Alan Mitcheson, prosecuting, told York Crown Court how Mark Shane McDonnell travelled scores of miles from his West Yorkshire base to commit his crimes.
But today he is starting a jail term because two people, unbeknown to each other, saw him and took action in two towns 30 miles apart.
The first, in Tadcaster, spotted the burglar and an accomplice breaking into a house in Eastfield Close at 9.50am on February 20, and took the registration number of their getaway car.
Two hours later, in Thirsk, a second member of the public saw the pair breaking into a house in Craig’s Way and caught them on camera.
Police recognised McDonnell’s face because they knew him well. In 20 years of preying on the public, he has racked up 135 convictions, many of them for house burglary and he has served at least one jail term for robbery.
They used the car registration to link McDonnell to house raids in Northallerton, Harrogate and Thirsk on a different day.
McDonnell, 39, of Freestone Mews, Leeds, pleaded guilty to two burglaries and asked for three more to be taken into consideration. He was jailed for three years and four months.
Judge Guy Kearl told him: “It is plain you were travelling around, burgling premises. The offences were obviously planned since you went some distance to commit them. Plainly in order to gain entry, you went equipped to do so.”
For McDonnell, Sajid Majeed said he had been under financial pressure after he lost his job at a demolition firm and had got involved with the people he had associated with when he had a drug problem.
His girlfriend was expecting their second child and he would miss the birth.
Mr Mitcheson said the burglars got away with jewellery and two computers from the burglaries on February 20, none of which have been found by police.