A GANG of professional burglars from Bradford who travelled 40 miles into North Yorkshire to target prosperous homes have been jailed for nearly 13 years.

Equipped with balaclavas and gloves, Brandon Gaughan and Omar Khalid Powell, both 22, and Andrew Joseph Maguire, 24, ransacked the houses they selected and smashed their way into, said Chloe Hudson, prosecuting.

They took items worth thousands of pounds, including jewellery that a grandmother had given to her granddaughter.

Behind them, they left householders unable to sleep at night for fear they may return and an entire street installing CCTV to catch future burglars.

The Recorder of York, Judge Sean Morris, told them at York Crown Court: "You fall to be sentenced for professional criminality.

"You drove from Bradford in a stolen vehicle with false plates on and spare false plates in the back and you drove from the West Riding to the North Riding because you knew police are spread far and wide and thinly in one of the largest police areas in the country."

Ms Hudson said an off-duty police officer spotted the gang driving erratically in a car stolen in an earlier burglary towards Ripon and alerted his on-duty colleagues.

Traffic police gave chase when they saw the gang pull into a service station on the A61 and on seeing the police immediately pull out again heading towards Harrogate.

Police punctured their tyres with a stinger but the gang drove on with deflating tyres until they stopped, ran off but were caught hiding in nearby gardens and arrested.

Gaughan, of Cavendish Road, Idle, Maguire, of Dalby Avenue, Bradford, and Powell, of no fixed address, all pleaded guilty to two burglaries.

Gaughan, who also admitted aggravated vehicle-taking, was jailed for five years and nine months and banned from driving for five years and 10 months. He was on parole from an earlier sentence for a previous burglary carried out with Powell.

Powell was jailed for four years and four months. He had been jailed for two years in Leeds for handling a stolen car last autumn.

Maguire was jailed for two years and 10 months.

Barristers for Gaughan and Maguire said they had led law-abiding lives since the North Yorkshire raids on May 10, 2019.

Jeremy Hill-Baker, for Gaughan, said he had mild autism and had now formed a stable relationship.

Ben Thomas, for Maguire, said he had hoped to become a professional boxer and was well-regarded in his boxing club. He had no previous convictions for burglary.

Aymar Khokhar, for Powell, said he had had to endure the extreme conditions of pandemic prison life for more than a year already. He had an offer of a job at a family-owned cafe on his release.

Ms Hudson said the gang raided a house in a village north of Ripon and a house in Harrogate, where, on hearing on what had happened to their neighbour, every other householder in the same street had installed CCTV.