A THIEF has been jailed after he was caught getting into an unlocked van in South Tyneside.
Daniel Bolton searched the dashboard and glove compartment of the Iveco van, before trying to walk away empty-handed.
But his actions were caught on CCTV, and when police arrived, he “struggled” with officers, and gave a false identity.
The 21-year-old appeared at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, where he admitted vehicle interference, and two charges of obstructing a police officer.
He was jailed for 132 days after magistrates were told he committed the offences, on April 5, while serving a suspended prison sentence for unrelated offences, including theft.
Jeanette Smith, prosecuting, said: “A white van was parked on Smithy Street in South Shields at about 2.15pm on April 5.
“A short time later, the defendant approached the van and looked into the cab. It was not locked and he searched the dashboard and glove compartment, before getting out of the van and leaving one of the cab doors open.
“The incident was shown on CCTV and police were called, but when they arrived at the scene, Bolton struggled with officers and was arrested.” Mrs Smith said Bolton gave a false name to officers in an attempt to disguise his identity.
She added: “He was taken to the police station and continued to use the false name.
“When his true identity and details were discovered, he was arrested for resisting a police officer.”
The court heard that the owner of the van confirmed nothing had been taken.
Geoffrey Forrester, defending, told magistrates that on January 27, Bolton was re-sentenced for a number of offences, including theft, and was handed a suspended prison sentence.
He added: “He is in breach of his suspended sentence and is pleading guilty at the first opportunity.
“He apologises for what he did.”
Magistrates told Bolton, of Morgan Street, Sunderland, that custody was the only option because he had activated his suspended sentence.
He will serve 104 days in prison for the latest offences, and a further 28 days which are remaining on his suspended sentence – a total of 132 days.