County Durham defendant risked activating suspended sentence order with thefts late last year
Date of alert:
Thursday, 7 July 2022
A FORMER thief returned to his old ways targeting unattended lawn mowers in a garden and a farm building, a court heard.
Anthony Price, 47, appeared before Durham Crown Court for sentence after admitting theft and a non-dwelling burglary at separate hearings before magistrates in County Durham and Carlisle in recent weeks.
The court was told the theft related to a sit-on lawn mower taken from a garden in Ushaw Moor, near Durham, on November 12.
Jennifer Coldham, prosecuting, said the owner discovered it had been stolen at 3.30pm, and, on checking cctv, a man identified as Price, assisted by an accomplice, were seen taking it and placing it into a red Transit-type van.
Inquiries led officers to Price’s home address where the red van, containing the stolen lawn mower, was parked outside.
Price initially claimed he bought it from scrap men in a pick-up van he flagged down in Woodhouses, near Bishop Auckland, but in a subsequent police interview gave mostly “no comment” replies.
He later admitted taking it with his accomplice, claiming the owner previously told him and the other man they could have the mower free for scrap.
Miss Coldham said the mower was returned to the owner, but at a cost of £150.
While inquiries were made over that theft, a pressure washer, worth £500, and a lawn mower, valued at £250, were taken from an outbuilding at a farm in the Alston area of Cumbria, on December 7.
Police checked a red van, driven by a woman, with two male passengers, in Front Street, Alston, and saw the stolen items, but officers were told they had been bought for scrap.
Following reports of the theft, the van, by now without the stolen items, was stopped and all three occupants were arrested, later that day.
The stolen property was recovered the following day having been found behind a field wall, near Alston.