A prolific burglar is starting his longest stretch in prison after being locked up for his latest crime spree.

Metin Ucarcan and an accomplice targeted a County Durham farm and stole a £8,500 quad bike and chainsaw before leaving the off-road bike burnt out.

The 31-year-old then committed a further burglary and an attempted burglary after being released by police whilst under investigation, Teesside Crown Court heard.

Emma Atkinson, prosecuting, said Ucarcan removed a window from a garage at a farm in Egglestone, near Barnard Castle, before stealing the quad bike in the early hours of October 11 last year.

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She said the farmer was left £10,000 out of pocket, the equivalent to a year’s profit from his business.

“The owner heard someone come across the gravel and when he looked out of his window, he saw his quad bike in the other side of the wall and a car moving slowly towards it. The Vauxhall Astra and the quad bike then made off towards Barnard Castle,” she said.

She said the defendant had removed a window frame from the garage to gain access before stealing the quad bike.

The court heard how he carried out further offence in Darlington on Monday, October 31. The burglary and attempted burglary happened in the Burnet Drive and Bourne Avenue areas of the town.

Miss Atkinson said the burglary on Burnet Drive was captured a neighbours camera doorbell but police were unable to get further details from the occupant.

She told the court that the defendant had 18 convictions for 24 offences and was a ‘third strike’ burglar.

The Northern Echo: Metin UcarcanMetin Ucarcan (Image: Durham Constabulary)

Ucarcan, of Hewitson Road, Darlington, pleaded guilty to burglary and burglary of a non-dwelling.

Duncan McReddie, mitigating, said his client had admitted responsibility for all of the offences at the earliest possible stage and deserved credit for his early guilty pleas.

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He said the defendant had slipped back into committing crimes when he lost his job due to the economic slowdown.

Judge Howard Crowson sentenced Ucarcan to a total of three years and one month for all offences.

“The first burglary at the farm appears to have a had some planning and caused a great deal of loss to the farm owner,” he said.

“In the end, you have committed so many burglaries in the past that I’m justified to pass a longer sentence.”