One-armed thief stole car parts

A ONE-ARMED criminal with 114 offences to his name bought a car from a man at a yard and then returned later to steal vehicle batteries and alloy wheels from him.

Peter Jenkins, who has just one arm and wears a prosthetic limb, bought the Renault Megane car from Peter Brant, at MP Allen Skip Hire, in the Sandgate Industrial Estate, off Mainsforth Terrace, in Hartlepool.

The 41-year-old paid £120 up front and promised to pay the outstanding balance of £180 the following weekend.

But Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court heard that the defendant returned to the yard some time between Mr Brant locking up at 3pm and opening up at midday the following day and stole six alloy wheels and a quantity of car batteries worth £140.

The out-of-pocket victim went straight to EMR Scrap Merchants, also off Mainsforth Terrace, and a paper trail showed Jenkins had weighed the goods in and received just £72 for them.

Prosecuting, Lynne Dalton told justices: “The defendant went to the skip hire premises saying he wanted to buy the car that was for sale.

“While he was there Mr Brant said Jenkins looked around the yard suspiciously. A price of £300 was agreed for the car, but only £120 was paid up front and the rest was to be paid that weekend.

“Mr Brant left work at 3pm making sure everything was locked up and secure and he returned the following day.

“There was a hole in the perimeter fence and a number of alloy wheels and car batteries were missing.

“He went straight to the EMR scrapyard and discovered that the items had been weighed in the previous day.

“Police attended and received a receipt which shows the defendant as the person who weighed them in and received £72 for them, and also that the goods had been brought in the Renault Megane.”

She added: “The defendant said he believed the car needed a battery and was aware that the yard had some. He said he parked the car at the perimeter fence with his friend. He said his friend returned with the six wheels and a number of car batteries. He denied putting a hole in the fence.

“He admitted it was dishonest and the items were not his to take.”

Jenkins, of Dunbar Road, Hartlepool, pleaded guilty to theft on July 23. He also admitted stealing £176.63 of meat from Tesco, in Catcote Road, Hartlepool, with another man, on August 9.

Mitigating, Neil Taylor said his client had already spent 14 days in custody and told the court that none of the offences were “aggravated in terms of violence or confrontation”.

He added: “He’s disabled, he has a prosthetic arm and his ability to do unpaid work is limited if not nil.”

Chairman of the bench Stephen Hall sentenced him to 12-months supervision with a 12-week curfew.

Jenkins was also ordered to pay £50 costs and £197 compensation.