A teenage member of a motorcycle gang has been locked up for leaving a trail of destruction at break-ins in five shops.
Shaun Cameron, aged 18, and a youth, used mopeds to raid small businesses, leaving owners counting the cost of more than £11,000 in a little over a week.
Cameron and his accomplice ransacked stores, partly to destroy any CCTV evidence, Plymouth Crown Court heard.
They used their helmets as disguises and in one case used a moped to smash through a shop door.
The court heard that the raids had a devastating impact on the small businesses – with one shop owner almost breaking down in tears.
Sending Cameron to a Young Offender Institution for 27 months, Judge Paul Darlow said: “There was a significant loss, there was ransacking and vandalism, particularly where surveillance equipment was involved.”
He added that Cameron had appeared before courts since the age of 15, particularly for taking vehicles.
The teenager admitted smashing doors and windows during burglaries at the Woolwell Fish Bar and nearby takeway Papa Johns on August 7 last year.
He admitted taking three Honda Vision scooters from Papa Johns and stealing soft drinks from the fish and chip shop.
Cameron, of Penrose Street, Stonehouse, pleaded guilty to the burglary of iOutlet in Plympton on August 11, stealing mobile phones.
He also admitted burglary of Yelverton Stores that same day, taking tobacco.
Cameron finally pleaded guilty to burglary of Grenville Stores in St Judes on August 13, this time being part of a gang which took tobacco, alcohol and cash.
Emily Cook, for the Crown Prosecution Service, said that the total cost of the damage and lost goods was estimated at £11,112. Each of the premises was targeted between 3am and 4am.
She said the pair managed to force open a flap above the door to get into the Woolwell Fish Bar.
Miss Cook said they stole soft drinks and tried to force their way into a till. They also damaged glass doors and window.
The barrister said smashed windows and doors and damaged the CCTV system at Papa Johns. The gang escaped with three Honda Vision bikes each worth £500. The vehicles were all recovered.
Miss Cook said the gang stole 30 pouches of tobacco worth between £400 and £600 that same day from Yelverton Stores. It is thought they smashed down the door by ramming it with a bike – leaving behind a tyre mark.
Cameron and the younger burglar smashed a panel in a door frame to get into the iOutlet in Plympton. They stole an estimated 15 to 30 phones.
The gang ransacked Grenville Stores, stealing cash, tobacco and alcohol worth more than £1,000.
Miss Cook said they smashed up the shop office and equipment, causing damage of £5,000.
Owner Steve Aubert said: “It has left our business in a terrible state. My wife almost broke down in tears when she saw the state of our back office. I have found this very traumatic.
“These people do not understand the harm they cause for the sake of stealing cigarettes. I will never understand why they need to cause so much damage.”