Men hurled tools out of car window to evade cops

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THREE men who were spotted by a police helicopter trying to break into two lorries threw tools out of their car window to try and evade arrest.

Ross Nelson, 26, of Kings Mill Close, Morley, Michael Cawley, 26, of Blenkinsop Way, Leeds, and Timothy Cawley, 25, of Woollin Avenue, Tingley, were seen attempting to steal items from two heavy goods vehicles that were parked up at services off the A1 at Barnsdale Bar at around 1am on Wednesday, February 22.

Pontefract Magistrates’ Court heard on Monday that the three men drove off in their own vehicle and were tracked by the police helicopter until a patrol car could pick them up.

When the patrol car tried to get the vehicle to pull over, the officers saw a number of objects being thrown out of the car’s window onto the A1. The vehicle, which was driven by Michael Cawley, eventually pulled over and the men were arrested. Nothing had been stolen from the HGVs.

All three defendants pleaded guilty to two charges of attempted theft from a motor vehicle.

An offence of failing to stop when requested by police for Michael Cawley was withdrawn by the Crown Prosecution Service. He pleaded not guilty to driving with no insurance, which will be dealt with by magistrates on Wednesday, March 14.

Alex Boyd, mitigating for all three, said the men had all been out of work for some time.

He said: “They had been working at a cousin’s scrap yard assisting in cutting down copper wiring for a small amount of pay. They stopped at the services on the way home, saw the HGV vehicles, saw an opportunity and decided to look in them to see if there was anything to take.

“They tried to cover their tracks by throwing the tools out of the window. They only had the tools because of their work at the scrap yard.”

The men were all sentenced to 250 hours’ unpaid work as part of a 12-month community order.