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Neighbours filmed Newbury car thief in action

Tom Smith was caught stealing a debit card and was also charged with possessing cannabis

John Garvey

john.garvey@newburynews.co.uk

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01635 886628

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A THIEF who stole a bank card from a car glove box was caught because the victim’s neighbours filmed him.

They handed CCTV footage to police, who recognised the culprit as 27-year-old Tom Smith of Newtown Road, Newbury.

Zainab Mohamed, prosecuting at Reading Crown Court on Thursday, September 27, said: “The aggrieved parked his car at his home address overnight.

“In the morning they found their bank card missing from a wallet in the glove box, along with some money.

“He made inquiries and it became apparent that the card had been used at a McDonald’s restaurant.

“Neighbours provided police with CCTV footage which showed the defendant trying the door handle of their neighbour’s car.

“Officers identified him from the footage.”

When police searched Mr Smith they also found an amount of cannabis, the court heard.

Mr Smith admitted stealing a debit card in Newbury on August 26 and possessing the Class B controlled drug cannabis, on the same occasion.

He also has numerous previous convictions, the court heard.

Belinda Knight, defending, said her client came from a “very vulnerable background, to the point where police had found him at a railway station thinking about ending his life”.

A probation officer who prepared a pre-sentence report told the court that Mr Smith was a father-of-one who had arranged warehouse work in Thatcham and now had a good relationship with his family.

District judge Sophie Toms made him subject to a 12-month community order with 18 days rehabilitation activity requirement.

In addition, he was ordered to pay £18.99 compensation, £85 costs and a statutory victim services surcharge of £85.

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