Hartlepool burglar caused £2,000 damage and flooding after ripping out house's copper piping

A burglar caused £2,000 worth of damage to a house by ripping out copper piping which led to flooding.

Monday, 4th July 2022, 2:57 pm
Updated Tuesday, 5th July 2022, 9:37 am

Cameron Mcleod, 36, was caught red-handed by police with a crowbar and other equipment outside the property in West View Road, Hartlepool.

A neighbour called the law after hearing noises and officers found Mcleod outside the address holding with an Aldi bag that contained the piping and crowbar.

Teesside Crown Court heard he was also equipped with gloves, allen keys and nail clippers.

Cameron Mcleod.

Prosecutor Uzma Khan said: “Entry had been forced. There was substantial damage to the kitchen unit and considerable flooding to the property and kitchen area from where the piping had been removed.”

The property, owned by regional housing provider Thirteen, had been empty since January and was due to be put up for auction.

Mcleod was on bail at the time and has similar previous convictions on his record including for house burglary, thefts and going equipped for burglary.

He pleaded guilty to the latest offence.

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Mark Styles, defending, said in mitigation his client had been homeless and was addicted to crack cocaine.

Mr Styles said: “In feeding that addiction he was attempting to steal to sell items as and when.

"He’s deeply apologetic for the way he conducted himself. He accepts a custodial sentence is inevitable.”

The judge, Recorder Alex Menary, told Mcleod, of South Street, Hartlepool, he had caused “substantial damage”.

He added: “It’s aggravated by the fact you were on bail at the time and have previous convictions for committing offences of this nature.”

Mcleod was jailed for 20 months.