Would-be thief targeted South Tyneside Metro ticket machines using tin foil, blu tac and glue
A would-be thief targeted Metro ticket machines at four stations by using a combination of tin foil, blu tac and glue.
Scott Wilson, 26, rigged machines at three South Tyneside stations and one in Newcastle eight time in a bid to steal cash, South Tyneside magistrates heard.
Glenda Beck, prosecuting, said: “Since September there have been a number of attempted thefts from ticket machines.
“In these cases the dispenser which returns money have been blocked with blu tac and silver foil has been placed where the money is inserted in order to confuse the machine to misread the notes and reject them.
“The enquiry button has also been glued, preventing customers calling for help.”
Mr Wilson, of Dacre Street, South Shields, was identified on CCTV from November 11.
Ms Beck said Wilson was arrested at his home address. Clothing he was wearing on the CCTV footage was seized along with mountain bike, reported stolen the day before.
The court heard Scott, who has a lengthy criminal record, admitted he had targeted ticket machines eight times between September 27 and November 18 - at Tyne Dock, Simonside, Chichester and Benton Metro stations.
Ms Beck added: “He couldn’t remember on which occasions he had obtained money from the machines. He denied stealing the mountain bike.”
The court heard the help buttons on the machines cost £1,032 to repair.
Wilson pleaded guilty to nine counts of attempted theft and one of theft.
Joanne Gatens, defending, said Wilson had stolen out of desperation after he was unfairly dismissed from his job as an industrial cleaner.
Because he had been dismissed he was left without benefits for several weeks.
Ms Gatens said his bosses had since realised a mistake had been made and he was back working there.
She said: “He had seen someone committing this offence and thought it looked easy.
“He saw it as a method of solving problems. He didn’t know how successful it was going to be.
“It shows a clear lack of consequential thinking as far as Scott is concerned.”
Wilson was sentenced to a 12-month community order with 200 hours’ unpaid work, 20 days’ specified activity and was told to pay £1,032 in compensation to Nexus, £85 costs and an £85 surcharge.