Burglars aged 15 and 17 tried to sell stolen laptops to undercover cops in Burnley

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TWO teenaged boys who were part of a gang that raided nearly £8,500 worth of property from a Burnley home have appeared in court.

The youngsters, aged 15 and 17, appeared separately before the Burnley Youth Court where they each admitted to burglary at the Oxford Road property.

The court was told how the gang broke in looking for cannabis but came out with jewellery, computers and laptops which they tried to sell on to undercover police just minutes after the raid.

At the hearing of the 17-year-old teen, Sarah Stratham (prosecuting) said the youths thought they “smelled the smell of cannabis through the letter box” so broke into the house on November 2nd of last year.

She said that the gang could not find any of the Class B drug but instead helped themselves to a haul of goods totalling £8,448 before returning to an address in Burnley Wood.

Just minutes after the raid they were on the phone to undercover police trying to sell on the stolen goods.

Miss Stratham said: “They telephoned undercover officers and said they had laptop computers for sale.

When the undercover officers arrived each youth was sat with their own respective laptop deciding whether it was in working order.

“Deals were brokered for how much they could be sold for within minutes of the house burglary.”

However, in mitigation the court was told that the teenager had little “criminal experience” and had pleaded guilty to the crime, in which he admitted stealing a Fujitsu laptop, at the first opportunity.

He was bailed until March 17th when he will appear before Burnley Youth Court for sentencing.During the hearing of the 15-year-old boy, the court was told how he had been part of a gang that burgled the Oxford Road property on November 2nd of last year.

Addressing the Burnley boy, Judge Peter Ward said: “The charge you pleaded guilty to, even though that is the only charge, that charge relates to a dwelling house burglary during the day. But nevertheless it is a dwelling house burglary and you stole there, with others, items to a total value of £8,400.

“That is a serious matter. It involved invading someone else’s property as well as the theft of other people’s property.

“If you were that person you would be rather upset.”

The youngster was bailed until March 31st when he will learn his fate.