Hartlepool thief burgled neighbour’s home – then hid haul in a shopping trolley

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A thief has admitted burgling his neighbour was ‘a very stupid thing to do’.

Robert Paul Green, 30, of the town’s Stockton Road, appeared before Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court charged with stealing £990 worth of items from a house under renovation in the same street.

Green, who appeared via video link from custody, admitted taking the items, which included a tool bag, plastering equipment and gas hob, when police found some of the items in a shopping trolley at the defendant’s house.

David Maddison, prosecuting, told the court, there was a gate leading to an alleyway approaching the property which was left secured on the evening of May 26, however, the burglary was discovered the following morning.

He said: “The back gate had been forced. A bag of tools, kitchen hob and toilet cistern were taken. Paint had also been spilt.”

Mr Maddison said police identified Green from private CCTV footage taken in the area. He said: “When they went to his property the officers saw a shopping trolley with paint and a toilet cistern in. Mr Green made a full and frank admission.”

Although most of the items were recovered there is still around £330 worth of stolen goods still outstanding.

Neil Taylor, defending, said his client had admitted the offence at the earliest opportunity and had done his best to have the items returned to the rightful owner.

He said: “My client said the keys were in the back door and there is no suggestion of a forced entry.

“He does describe this as a very stupid thing to do.”

Magistrates sentenced Green to an eight-week community order and put him on an eight-week curfew from 8pm to 8am. He was ordered to pay £100 compensation, £180 court charge and £85 court costs.