Three boys – who cannot named for legal reasons – aged 15, 16 and 17, admitted burglary at a hearing at Kirklees Youth Court, Huddersfield, on Monday.
Prosecuting, Bill Astin said the tools were stolen from an outbuilding overnight when the teenagers, of Chickenley and Thornhill, Dewsbury, trespassed into the garden of a home in Syke Street, Earlsheaton.
The court heard that the owner woke up on March 9 to find the outbuilding’s door wide open and tools scattered around his garden.
The man did not have an inventory of his tools, as he had collected them over several years, but estimated the value of the items stolen to be £1,500.
The court heard the 16-year-old was seen carrying tool boxes and when asked where he had got them, replied that he had stolen a key that opened any council shed.
He later sold some of the tools to another man for just £40.
The 16-year-old was arrested on suspicion of burglary and the skeleton key was found on him.
Police issued a warrant on the man who bought the tools and he admitted handling stolen goods and named the three teenagers involved in the burglary.
Only £400 worth of tools were recovered and returned to the victim, the court heard.
Defending, Mohammed Arif said the 16-year-old was a ‘sheep’ and had passed on the key to someone else, as he was the lookout.
Cheryl Ford, defending the 15 and 17 year olds, said they both named the 16-year-old as the one who came up with the plan to steal the tools.
She added that the 16-year-old had pressured the 17 and 15-year-olds to take part and that the 15-year-old was a lookout.
Magistrate David Worboys sentenced the 16-year-old to a four-month referral order as he had no previous convictions. The 15-year-old and 17-year-old received a six-month and four-month youth rehabilitation orders respectively.