BURGLAR Kevin Thoburn stole thousands of pounds from a Wearside bakery to repay drugs debts.
The 32-year-old crawled through an airvent to get into Marshall’s, in Penshaw, on Monday night and helped himself to more than £2,000 from an unlocked safe.
Homeless Thoburn was traced by police to a caravan in an allotment, where he was sleeping rough, and found an invoice from the bakery amongst his things.
He was arrested and pleaded guilty to burglary at Sunderland Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.
The court heard Thoburn had only been released from prison just weeks before the break-in at the Avondale Avenue shop.
Stan Sudworth, prosecuting, said the owner of the bakery left it secure on Sunday, but when he returned at 7.30am on Monday, he found someone had forced entry through an air vent, took cash from the safe and had spilled oil across the floor.
While officers were at the caravan quizzing Thoburn on other matters, they spotted an invoice from Marshall’s.
He confessed he had stolen the cash, used £1,500 to clear a drug debt and spent the rest. Ian Cassidy, defending, said Thoburn had been homeless since he was released from prison after a 26-week sentence for another non-residential burglary, from January this year. He added: “There was no vandalism, no ransacking of the property.
“The cash was taken from a safe that was not even broken into. For some reason, the key was left in the locking mechanism of the safe.
“I think they will have difficulties insuring themselves after that. He came out of prison in January with no money, no food and no home.
“It was a very poor existence and he was living in a ramshackle caravan on an allotment.
“With the lifestyle he is living, he has fallen into using drugs and ended up in debt.”
Magistrates ordered Thoburn be sentenced at Newcastle Crown Court and remanded him in custody until the week commencing March 17