Jail for van thief caught on CCTV

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A Nelson man who had his van stolen from outside his house checked his CCTV and realised a man he had known since junior school was responsible.

Blackburn Magistrates Court heard how the footage showed Charlie Smith (35) loading his bike onto the roof rack before driving off with the van.

The owner of the van, Craig Walton, later realised the keys had been taken from the kitchen worktop of his home where he had put them when coming home from work.

Smith, of Hollins Road, pleaded guilty to taking a vehicle without consent and driving without insurance, he was jailed for a total of 16 weeks after the court heard the offence put him in breach of a suspended prison sentence.

Catherine Allan, prosecuting, said Mr Walton parked his van where it was covered by CCTV, removed his tools from the back and went into his house.

His door key was on the same ring as his car keys and they were left in the kitchen.

She said: “He left the door open because his partner was due home, there was a 30 minute slot when the back door was open.

“The CCTV showed Smith, who Mr Walton put his pedal cycle on the roof before unlocking the van and driving off.”

Smith was made subject to a suspended prison sentence for the offence of handling stolen goods.