Sharp-eyed police officers and spy cameras combined to catch two culprits on a night of break-ins and thefts in Motherwell.
Reece Hamilton was spotted with two stolen plasma screen televisions at a bus stop and caught on CCTV running from town centre premises with a cash box. Meanwhile, Nathan Gordon was filmed breaking into a shop.
The pair appeared from custody at Hamilton Sheriff Court last week.
Hamilton (23) admitted stealing £240 from Cash for Clothes in Brandon Parade and being in possession of the TVs, stolen from a house in Dalzell Drive.
Gordon (22) admitted breaking into Kinnies Bridal in Manse Road with intent to steal. The crimes were committed in the early hours of April 23 this year.
Callum Forsyth, prosecuting, said officers driving on Shields Road about 2am saw Hamilton sitting at a bus stop with the TVs next to him. These were seized and the next morning a householder in Dalzell Drive reported his home had been broken into and two TVs taken. A window had been smashed to gain entry.
The TVs recovered matched and were returned to him.
At the same time the Cash for Clothes theft was discovered. CCTV showed Hamilton running from the scene with the cash box.
The owner of Kinnies Bridal got a call at 1.30am to say the alarm had gone off. The window had been smashed and CCTV showed Gordon pulling off the metal grille, but running away when the alarm went off.
John-Paul Gallacher, defending Hamilton, said his client’s criminal record was “limited” and he had no convictions for crimes of dishonesty.
At the time of these crimes he was unemployed. This was affecting his mental health and he was abusing alcohol and sleeping pills.
Mr Gallacher said: “His recollection is limited, but he remembers speaking to two drug addicts who offered him the TVs for a small sum of money.”
Diarmid Bruce, for Gordon, said the former soldier and father of a child aged three, has convictions for assault and robbery, but described the crime at the bridal shop as “pathetic”.
Mr Bruce told the court: “He was making his way home with friends and had this idea. It was foolish not least because the shop has CCTV and an alarm which went off. There was no cunning plan here.”
Sheriff Shiona Waldron jailed both accused for nine months and refused to backdate the sentences.