A BURGLAR who stole bicycles worth more than £5,000 from stores inside York apartment blocks has been jailed for two years.

Lewis Joshua Oakland, 23, smashed his way into areas set aside for bikes in the basements of two sets of flats said Michael Greenhalgh, prosecuting.

Judge Simon Hickey said York was so much a cycling city that it was common sense that the crimes would have caused problems for the bikes’ owners.

“I take the view this type of offence is serious,” he said.

“The premises must have been deliberately targeted with a significant degree of planning,” he told Oakland. “You must have carried something to commit the damage.”

Oakland, of Fifth Avenue, Tang Hall, pleaded guilty to two burglaries and was jailed for two years at York Crown Court.

He has a long history of previous convictions.

He had been on licence at the time of the bicycle burglaries from a six-month prison sentence for offences that included burglary.

Glenn Parsons, defending, said Oakland had been homeless at the time and had funded his lifestyle through crime.

Another male had been involved and Oakland had “gone along with him”.

Mr Greenhalgh said in each case, the lowest floor of the block of flats were used as car parks and had a separate storage area for bikes.

Oakland had broken panels in the doors and wire mesh cages leading into the stores.

On September 18, he stole three bikes worth together £4,500, and six days later he stole a boke worth £800. None of the bikes had been recovered.

Mr Parsons said Oakland hadn’t known the value of the bicycles when he stole them.

However he had known that they had a sellable value.

He hoped to rebuild his life when he was released.

Both apartment blocks were part of the Hungate development and are occupied.