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Wednesday, 03 September 2014

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Barrow Burglar admits to string of break-ins

A BURGLAR who targeted houses with parents and young children asleep inside has pleaded guilty to the charges.

Ryan Ballantyne, of Edgerton Court in Barrow, pleaded guilty to a series of burglaries in Barrow and Ulverston.

The 18-year-old was caught when he was seen on CCTV attempting to use a stolen cash card at an ATM machine at the 24-hour Shell garage in Ulverston.

Ballantyne appeared at Furness Magistrates’ Court yesterday morning.

Mr Bill Magill, prosecuting, described four burglaries in which electrical appliances, cash, credit cards and jewellery were stolen from houses while the occupants were asleep.

One of the victims realised their house had been burgled when they went to open a pile of birthday cards and discovered they were missing.

The cards and a purse that had been taken, were later found dumped nearby.

Ballantyne was arrested by police at an address in Barrow Island on Monday along with a 17-year-old female, who cannot be named for legal reasons. Police then recovered a substantial amount of stolen property.

The 17-year-old pleaded guilty to three charges of burglary in a separate hearing yesterday.

In addition to the three burglaries on Barrow Island, Ballantyne also pleaded guilty to another burglary in Steel Street, Ulverston, on January 21.

Mr Magill said: “All the houses that have been burgled were occupied at the time.”

Three of the houses targeted, all in Ramsden Dock Road, were occupied by families with children under 18 – one of them as young as seven.

All of the properties were left unsecured at the time of the offences.

Presiding magistrate Margaret Rogerson told Ballantyne the severity of the offences meant he could not be sentenced by magistrates.

Ballantyne is due to appear at Preston Crown Court on April 26 for sentencing. He was remanded in custody to that date

The 17-year-old will be sentenced at youth court on April 5.

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