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Two men who stole a BMW worth thousands were caught by police hiding under a trampoline in a garden after abandoning the car.
Dominic Stewart and Amar Majid were connected to a burglary that was carried out in Rose Cottage Gardens in Stainton on March 22.
An unknown accomplice of the pair smashed a french door window of a home on the street, entered and stole two sets of car keys, a tablet computer and a mobile phone.
Stewart, 38, and Majid, 31, didn’t enter the house, but took off together in a white BMW worth £25,000 that was parked on the drive.
The pair appeared at Teesside Crown Court on Monday via video link from HMP Durham.
Stewart was sentenced for theft of a car and burglary, Majid was sentenced for theft and handling stolen goods.
Paul Newcombe, prosecuting, said the owner of the property was in bed at around 3am when he was woken up by the sound of the “dog barking and cars being driven off the drive”.
“They had gained access by punching a hole in the windowpane of french doors.”
The court heard that Stewart pleaded guilty to burglary on the basis he did not go into the house.
“Another unidentified person went in the house and removed the car keys, which were in a bowl”, Mr Newcombe said.
“A tablet computer and a mobile phone were taken from the living room.”
The owner then “raced downstairs” as two cars were being driven away from his drive, one of which was the BMW.
“At around 3.30am the BMW was picked up by a police helicopter and followed”, Mr Newcombe added.
“The defendants abandoned the BMW and left on foot while being pursued and ended up on Valiant Way in Thornaby.
“They leapt over a garden fence and hid under a trampoline.
“A jacket containing two bank cards belonging to the home owner was found near to where they were lying.”
Police quickly found Majid and Stewart and the pair were arrested.
Majid lied to police, saying an unknown man had shown him a car he was interested in buying before police turned up.
Stewart made no reply in interview.
The court heard that both vehicles were recovered along with all of the stolen property.
In a victim impact statement, the owner of the home said he felt “violated” and now questions whether he and his family are safe in their own home.
Both Majid and Stewart have various previous convictions, with Stewart’s record dating back to 1997 and included theft and robbery offences.
Stewart had been out of prison for only one month before committing the March 22 offences, the court heard.
Rod Hunt, defending Majid, said he had spent his time in prison completing drug and alcohol awareness programmes and had a troubled childhood dating back to his early teens while living in Pakistan.
He said Majid had faced issues with drugs and got involved in the offence as a way to pay of drug debts.
Kieran Rainey, defending Stewart, said he had also made “significant progress in prison” and was completing courses and awareness programmes.
He added that his “drug needs” took over and “fell into bad habits” when the offences were committed.
Sentencing the pair, Judge Jonathan Carroll said they both had “dreadful previous convictions”.
Stewart, of Fulbeck Road, Ormesby, was jailed for 616 days.
Majid, of Belle Vue Grove, Belle Vue, Middlesbrough, was jailed for two years and eight months.
This content was originally published here.