A THIEF who was spotted carting away a stolen house boiler on his bike was jailed for five months.
Anthony Smithson, 32, from Hartlepool, was reported to the police by a neighbour on the street from where the boiler had been taken.
She had earlier seen the boiler and copper piping lying in the garden of the unoccupied house in Fieldview Close, Port Clarence.
Prosecutor Shaun Dodds, told Teesside Crown Court that moments later Smithson was seen cycling off with the boiler under his arm.
Smithson, who had previous convictions for scrap metal theft, said that he had been cycling past when he spotted it.
Smithson, of Nottingham Walk, Hartlepool, was on prison licence at the time on February 15, and he pleaded guilty to theft on the day of his trial.