A ‘third strike’ career criminal who was burgling houses in Bradford to steal cars to order has been jailed for four years.

Shaun Adams and his accomplices were working as a professional team to break into people’s homes to take the vehicle keys, the judge sentencing him said today.

Adams, 45, of Sunbridge Road, central Bradford, was in possession of registration plates from the stolen cars, numerous car keys and sticky tape to attach the false plates, Bradford Crown Court heard today.

He pleaded guilty to dishonestly handling a stolen Ford C-Max on October 18 last year; burgling two homes in the Allerton area of Bradford on October 26; stealing a £30,000 VW Tiguan and driving while disqualified.

He was sentenced on a video link to HMP Leeds where he had been remanded since his arrest.

Prosecutor Emma Handley said Adams had 41 convictions for 119 offences and was a third strike house burglar.

She said the stolen C-Max was a Motability vehicle taken overnight on October 19 last year.

Adams was caught with the vehicle which was on false plates. He had photographs of it on his phone, Miss Handley said.

The keys to the Tiguan were taken by Adams from inside the rear door of one of the burgled houses on the same street in Allerton.

The court heard that a young boy was at home and saw the keys being stolen by a man in a black mask.

In the second burglary on the same night, Adams was caught on CCTV. He looked in the garage but the householder was disturbed and he did not get away with a vehicle.

Matthew Stewart said in mitigation that Adams had been homeless on his release from prison and was living in the stolen Ford C-Max.

He was ‘disappointed, sad and upset’ to have burgled two occupied properties.

Adams was given hostel accommodation in Bradford and fell into the wrong company. He was taking drugs and offending to pay for his addiction.

He was now determined to turn his life around and be a responsible family man to his partner and their children.

The Recorder of Bradford, Judge Richard Mansell QC, labelled Adams ‘a career criminal.’ He and his accomplices were working as a professional team to burgle houses and steal cars to order.

The boy at home when he took the keys to the Tiguan must have been terrified when he saw a man in a black face mask reaching round the door.

Adams was banned from driving for three years.