Reece Callum Davidson, 25, broke into 13 houses in York and nearby villages between May and October 2022 while their occupants slept, took their car keys and on 12 occasions drove off their high value vehicles from their driveways, said Oliver Norman. At times he operated as part of a balaclava-clad gang and on two occasions, the raiders were armed with a knife.
Within minutes of snatching the cars, Davidson was filming them on his mobile phone as he prepared to sell them via a TikTok account he had set up specially for that purpose. He called it YO31Dingers – dingers is a slang word for stolen vehicles and YO31 is a York postcode area, said Mr Norman. He particularly targeted VW Golfs, but also stole a VW T-Roc, a BMW M3, an Audi S3, and a Seat Leon Cupra. Police said the stolen cars with cloned number-plates were sold to buyers in Bradford, Wakefield, Hull and as far south as London. Most have never been recovered. Officers set up Operation Zinc to catch him and Davidson, of Carr Lane, Acomb, pleaded guilty to 13 burglaries, one attempted burglary, 12 thefts of cars, two charges of handling goods stolen in other burglaries and one of burgling Tadcaster Yorwaste recycling dump.
“Burglaries are horrific offences,” said Judge Simon Hickey. He read personal statements from victims describing how they had needed psychiatric and other help and had had to spend money on upgrading their home security and other expenses. Davidson was jailed for four years for the burglary campaign, to be served after a five-year sentence he is already serving for a similar burglary in Ryedale where he stole a car, other burglaries, smothering his girlfriend and breaching a non-molestation order. For Davidson, Rachel Webster said: “If he could turn back time and have his time again, there is no way he would commit these offences. “He is ashamed of what he has done. He has made a mess of his life. He puts his hand up to them and he wants to make a new start outside when he is released.” Davidson had been mixing with the wrong crowd, she said, and his imprisonment would punish his family as well as him. Investigating officer, Detective Constable Oliver Dalby, said: “The victims of Davidson’s offending have been profoundly affected by his crimes. Some of them awoke in the middle of the night, to find him in their home wearing a balaclava. I can only imagine the fear that such an experience would cause. I would like to thank them for their support and patience throughout the investigation. “Operation Zinc was a painstaking investigation that drew on the specialist skills of a number of departments across the force including response teams, crime scene investigation, intelligence, data analytics, forensics and the proactive specialist team known as Operation Expedite. “The successful outcome is a result of hundreds of hours of work by dedicated officers and the strength of the evidence gathered has left Mr Davidson with no option but to admit his guilt.”