Posted on Tuesday 6 July 2021
Two burglars proved they aren’t the brightest sparks after live-streaming their police pursuit over Snapchat – which ended when they were caught and arrested by officers.
Leon Robinson laughed and egged on accomplice Mark Gary Carroll as they were being pursued by officers after trying to steal vital equipment from a Teesdale farm last month.
The pair started the pursuit after being disturbed trying to take a Polaris ATV vehicle from a farm building in Barnard Castle.
The eagle-eyed 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 and arrest the pair.
The farmer’s ATV was also recovered.
At Durham Crown Court both Carroll, 33, of Kesteven Road, Hartlepool, and Robinson, 32, of South Road, Hartlepool, were sentenced to 20 months in prison and ordered to pay £156 to the farmer.
Carroll, who was driving the getaway van, was also banned from driving for 22 months.
Detective Sergeant Sarah Hindmarsh, of Durham Constabulary CID, said: “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 and hope this result deters others who think they can come into our rural areas to commit criminal offences.”