Thief tailgated a work lorry into a yard to steal vehicle batteries

Chesterfield magistrates' court.
Chesterfield magistrates' court.

A thief was caught carrying out a raid on a firm after he tailgated one of their vehicles into their works yard and stole two vehicle batteries.

Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on January 17 how Lee Hughes, 35, of Devonshire Avenue North, New Whittington, Chesterfield, followed the work lorry into Chesterfield Crane Company, at Whittington Engineering Complex, at South Street North.

Prosecuting solicitor Lynn Bickley said: “A vehicle tailgated another vehicle into the site and two heavy-duty batteries were removed from a road sweeper.

“The manager was investigating fly-tipping on the site and the theft of the batteries, valued at £150, was discovered and they were later recovered by police.”

Mrs Bickley added that CCTV showed Hughes’s van tailgating another vehicle into the yard and rubbish could be seen being emptied from the side and rear doors of the van.

The manager of the site drove around the nearby streets, according to Mrs Bickley, and saw the van outside an address and he knocked on the door and there was a minor scuffle between members of his staff and the defendant before police arrived.

The defendant told police he had followed a vehicle into the yard so he could remove the batteries because he claimed that in 2009 he had had a vehicle damaged by a lorry from the firm and he had allegedly been provided false details.

Hughes pleaded guilty to the theft which happened on November 3.

Magistrates sentenced Hughes to a 12 month community order with 80 hours of unpaid work.

He was also ordered to pay an £85 victim surcharge and £85 costs.