A Cumbernauld pensioner had her car stolen when someone sneaked into her house and nicked the vehicle’s keys as she was out walking her dog.
Hours earlier another vehicle had been stolen by party guests in Viewpark.
Both cars were recovered in Cumbernauld. Unfortunately, one had crashed and was on fire.
It all led to two men and a woman appearing at Hamilton Sheriff Court.
William Smith (28) admitted stealing the 72-year-old woman’s car from outside her home in Glen View, Kildrum, last May.
Co-accused Sean Feeney (26) had his not guilty plea to that charge accepted, but admitted stealing the vehicle from the party house in Langside Avenue, Viewpark.
Smith was cleared of involvement in that theft.
Both Smith of Allanfauld Road, Seafar, and Feeney of McFarlane Crescent, Cambuslang, denied stealing another car from Smithyends in Cumbernauld Village and their not guilty pleas were accepted.
Courtney Hutchison (23) of Birrens Road, Motherwell, had her not guilty pleas to the three car theft charges accepted.
She admitted illegal possession of a knife.
The court heard the Cumbernauld pensioner left her door unlocked when she took her dog out. She returned to find a woman and two men hanging about outside.
She asked the female if she was all right and was told she was waiting for someone. The men claimed to be looking for an access lane, but the OAP told them they were in a dead end.
She went into the house then heard the sound of her car being reversed out of the driveway.
Police were already investigating the theft of the vehicle from the party house in Viewpark. It belonged to the householder, who is Hutchison’s aunt. Hutchison and Feeney were at the party. The householder went to bed and got up the next morning to find her vehicle missing.
The fiscal told the court the stolen vehicles were both recovered in Cumbernauld. The pensioner’s vehicle had crashed and was on fire.
All three accused were found in the vicinity. Smith matched a description given by the elderly dog walker.
Cops retrieved keys with a Tesco card which enabled them to identify the Viewpark vehicle owner.
A lockback knife was found when Hutchison was searched.
Smith’s agent said his record “doesn’t cover him in glory”, but stressed he was keen to settle down with his partner and child.
He admitted stealing the OAP’s car on the basis that he was acting with others and was not the driver. He was under the influence at the time.
Feeney, too, insisted that he was merely a passenger in the other stolen car.
He, according to his solicitor, has a “troubled” background, but was now the father of a 10-month-old son. He has previous convictions for crimes of dishonesty.
Hutchison’s lawyer said she was guilty of “poor decision-making”.
Sheriff Moira MacKenzie pointed out that Smith got eight months for another car theft in June last year.
She told him: “I’m not persuaded that custody can be avoided this time, but I’m prepared, given your personal circumstances, to restrict it to six months.”
The sheriff said prison was also inevitable for Feeney though his record was not as bad. He was jailed for four and a half months.
Hutchison was ordered to do 50 hours of unpaid community work within three months.