A man who was rumbled by vigilant neighbours stealing hundreds of pounds of valuable metal from a Preston scrap dealer has appeared in court.
Preston Magistrates’ Court heard residents in Whitechapel, Longridge, near Preston, grew suspicious after hearing noises at nearby R W H Iron Design on the evening of July 9 last year.
Andy Robinson, prosecuting, said: “ The scrap metal dealer owns a company on Bleasdale Road and he was warned by people who live nearby that sometime in the evening some people had been to his premises and taken metal.
“He identified two pieces of metal, valued at more than £500, had been stolen. He says he would have turned the metal into other metal products worth £2,500.
“The metal has been recovered.”
READ MORE: Scrap metal theft falling in Lancashire
The court was told when police were alerted, they stopped and searched a vehicle and found a quantity of amphetamine and cannabis.
David Ormerod, 53, of Butler Street, Blackpool, was arrested and has since pleaded guilty to stealing metal, and two of possessing a class B drug.
He attended court on crutches and was permitted to sit outside the usual witness box.
The bench was told in the time it has taken him to be prosecuted for the Preston offences, he has committed - and been sentenced for - similar offences in Bradford.
But defending, Guy Nelligan said his “days of travelling in a car and collecting scrap metal are long behind him” as his mobility has declined since the offences.
He got a 12 month discharge, £20 surcharge and £85 costs.
*A 48-year-old man faces a trial in connection with the same theft next year.