Former burglar admits to stealing cigarettes from unlocked car

Police were alerted to a man who had been observed trying car door handles.
The case was heard at South Tyneside Magistrates' CourtThe case was heard at South Tyneside Magistrates' Court
The case was heard at South Tyneside Magistrates' Court

A South Tyneside former jailbird’s bid to go straight went up in smoke when he broke into a car to pinch a half empty packet of cigarettes.

David Moore, 38, swiped them after testing vehicle doors in Palace Close, Laygate, and finding one unsecured, borough magistrates heard.

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But Moore, of Eglesfield Road, Chichester, was spotted committing the crime by residents who contacted police on Sunday, December 3.

A street search located him nearby and a 20-pack of smokes – which retail at £11.80 - with 10 missing, was found on his person.

Prosecutor Lee Poppett said: “Police were alerted to a gentleman who had been observed trying car door handles. This defendant was found relatively close by.

“He was found in possession of some items which included some cigarettes. He found himself arrested.

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“A female was the owner of the motor vehicle and she said she had left her vehicle unsecured and that a packet of partly smoked cigarettes had been taken.

“The crown would not say this offence could be considered as sophisticated or that there was much planning.

“He was simply trying car handles. He was interviewed by the police but gave no comment.

“It’s fair to say that Mr Moore is a gentleman with an antecedent record, which is an aggravating factor.”

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Moore, who was jailed for 42 months in 2019 for a dwelling burglary and released on licence two years later, pleaded guilty to a charge of theft from a motor vehicle.

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Alastair Naismith, defending, said: “There’s not much for me to say. It’s low harm and low culpability.

“His last offence was for burglary but after being let out of prison, he hasn’t been committing offences. It could be said this offence is out of character.

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“The same cigarettes today from Tesco cost £11.80, and it was a half full pack, there were 10 cigarettes.”

Magistrates ordered Moore to pay £11.80 compensation to his victim and fined him £120, with £85 court costs and a £48 victim surcharge.

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