Bungling Hartlepool burglars live streamed police chase on Snapchat
Bungling burglars live streamed their police pursuit over social media channel Snapchat before they were caught and arrested by officers.
Leon Robinson laughed and egged on accomplice Mark Gary Carroll as they were pursued by officers after trying to steal vital equipment from a farm in May.
The Hartlepool pair started the pursuit after being disturbed trying to take a Polaris ATV vehicle from a farm building in Barnard Castle.
A resourceful neighbour quickly circulated their van’s details on the rural community’s Rural Watch Whatsapp group and reported them to the police.
Officers then pursued the vehicle and, despite being rammed, were able to intercept the van.
The farmer’s vehicle was also recovered.
At Durham Crown Court both Carroll, 33, of Kesteven Road, and Robinson, 32, of South Road, were sentenced to 20 months in prison and ordered to pay £156 compensation to the farmer.
Carroll, who was driving the getaway van, was also banned from driving for 22 months.
Both pleaded guilty to burglary and failing to surrender to custody.
Carroll also admitted driving while disqualified, dangerous driving and driving without insurance.
Detective Sergeant Sarah Hindmarsh, of Durham Constabulary CID, hoped “this result deters others who think they can come into our rural areas to commit criminal offences”.
She added: “The job was a great example of community, Rural Watch and police working together to catch the individuals who travelled into our area to steal farm machinery.
“It was good to see the stolen goods recovered for the farmer who was in the middle of a very busy lambing time.
“We will not stand for this type of behaviour in our communities.”