A PROFESSIONAL burglar is behind bars for the third time in three years for a ram-raid and another store break-in a week later.

Aaron Stubley wore a mask and gloves when he was caught on camera smashing a stolen 4x4 into a McColls shop in Birchington Avenue, Grangetown, near Middlesbrough, through the night on December 10.

He caused £1,500 damage and got away with cigarettes and alcohol worth £2,570, prosecutor Emma Atkinson told Teesside Crown Court.

On December 18, the 28-year-old and an unknown accomplice targeted a Spar store at The Lodge service station in nearby Eston where £3,800 of tobacco products and drink was stolen after a kiosk was jemmied open.

The court heard how a hole had been smashed in a brick and breezeblock wall, and the loot was again carried off in a duvet cover.

In 2015, Stubley was jailed for a year for a spate of six burglaries at farm buildings and storage compounds, and the following year, he was locked up for three years and four months for conspiracy to burgle.

The court heard in 2016 how Stubley was part of a five-strong gang who hand-picked properties across Middlesbrough and east Cleveland to break into and steal from.

In total, ten business premises - mostly small, family-run firms - were targeted and had holes knocked through walls and roof tiles ripped off.

Jailing him for five years on Monday, the judge, Recorder Jonathan Sandiford, told Stubley: "You are a professional burglar. The only time you stop burgling is when a court locks you up."

Stubley, of Shawcross Avenue, Grangetown, admitted two charges of burglary.

His lawyer, Simon Walker, said he had been recalled on licence after his arrest for the December crimes, and is "isolated" miles from home in Armley Jail, Leeds.