"Prolific burglar" Kevin Yates found hiding out in Blackpool hotel after more than 50 burglaries in three months

Kevin Yates
Kevin Yates
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Kevin Yates, who was found hiding in a Blackpool hotel after dozens of thefts in East Lancashire, has been described by police as a "prolific burglar".

Yates, 25, of Comrie Crescent in Burnley, admitting targeting a number of houses in Colne, Whalley, Burnley, and Accrington.

One of the cars Kevin Yates stole in East Lancashire.

One of the cars Kevin Yates stole in East Lancashire.

He was sentenced to seven years in prison at Burnley Crown Court on Wednesday, July 10.

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Between November 2018 and january 2019, Yates - also known as Kevin King-Yates - stole cars including a Volkswagen Golf GTD, a Mercedes AMG, an Audi A5, an Audi A4 and an Audi A3 Quattro.

Officers believed he was stealing the cars to send to "chop shops" - illegal workshops that break up stolen cars to sell for parts.

Yates targeted high-value cars.

Yates targeted high-value cars.

Investigators say they launched Operation Arrowtooth in response to Yates' "growing criminality", and he was eventually arrested in January.

They say he had been actively avoiding police by giving false names at hotels and moving between addresses across the North West.

Police believe Yates changed his SIM card over 100 times to prevent them tracing him.

They finally found him hiding out at the Hampton by Hilton Hotel in Blackpool on January 30, where he was arrested and later charged with five burglaries and four car thefts.

Yates pleaded guilty at court and asked for a further 51 burglaries and 32 motor vehicle thefts to be taken into consideration.

He was sentenced to seven years in prison for his crimes.

Det Sgt Phil McGauley said: “We welcome the sentence handed down at court which reflects the severity of Yates’ offending and the hard work of Lancashire Police officers in bringing him to justice.

"We believe between mid-November and the end of January, he was linked to around 60 per cent of all motor vehicle thefts across the east of the county.

“While he admitted his involvement in nine offences, he asked more than 80 other offences were taken into consideration at court. This averaged at around one offence a day.

“I want to reassure the public the East Target Team is effectively and robustly identifying, targeting and bringing to justice people who commit this type of offence.

“We will not tolerate people breaking into people’s homes and taking their property, and causing them unnecessary distress.

“During this investigation we have identified a number of other people from this network of criminality and will now be focusing our attention on them.

“I would ask the public to be vigilant and report anything they consider to be suspicious or any information they may have by calling police on 101 or CrimeStoppers on 0800 555 111.”