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Moray man who stole child's Harry Potter school bag during car theft 'spree' was caught after leaving his phone in victim's car

By Ali Morrison

A hapless Moray thief who was caught when he left his phone and bank card behind in a victim's car has been sentenced.

Elgin Sheriff Court and Justice of the Peace Court on the High Street, Elgin. Picture: Daniel Forsyth
Elgin Sheriff Court and Justice of the Peace Court on the High Street, Elgin. Picture: Daniel Forsyth

Elgin Sheriff Court heard that Paul Woodin (52) stole more than £1500 of items including satnavs, clothing, tools and a child's Harry Potter school bag from five vehicles in Lossiemouth between August 11 and September 17 last year.

Procurator Fiscal Sharon Ralph said that during the five week period, Woodin broke into the cars, which were parked outside homes on James Street, Coulardhill, Church Street and Dunbar Street. Some of the cars were unlocked while others appeared to have been been pried open with a red handled screwdriver, which was left lodged in one of the vehicles.

During the spate of thefts Woodin stole two satnavs, keys and work boots. One victim also had a bag stolen which contained a laptop and a pair of glasses along with some painting tools, a knife, a jacket and had a £1 coin taken from their centre console.

Another victim had entered their car to discover it had been 'ransacked' and items including a child's school bag were missing. While searching their car they discovered an iPhone and a satnav had been left behind, and upon removing the phone case found Woodin's bank card. The satnav was later identified as one stolen from another vehicle.

Police then attended the 52-year-old's home, where they found stolen items with an estimated value of £1515.99.

Defence solicitor Grant Daglish said that the 52-year-old, who now lives in Kingsmills in Elgin had no memory of incidents due to them being alcohol related.

Woodin also admitted to a further charge of behaving in a threatening and abusive manner at a property in Inchbroom Avenue in Lossiemouth.

Sheriff David Harvie said: "These were all your neighbours, I don't believe it was alcohol related – you went on a spree and I am very tempted to jail you for it. This is a scandalous way to treat your neighbours."

He sentenced Woodin to a one year supervision order and 100 hours of community service, which was reduced from 150 due to an early guilty plea, and Sheriff Harvie warned Woodin: "If you breach this order, it's not gonna be a six month sentence."

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