A burglar was caught red-handed after he was spotted on CCTV wearing a hi-vis jacket he had stolen in one of his crime sprees.
Grant Leadbitter, 22, broke into a communal area of the Echo24 building, in West Wear Street, on two occasions earlier this year, Sunderland magistrates heard.
Prosecutor Paul Anderson said that on January 14, Leadbitter caused £1,000 of damage to postal lockers, and on that day, as well as on January 27, he stole numerous items of mail belonging to residents.
Also on January 14, he caused £200 of damage to a padlocked door on a bicycle storage locker at the National Glass Centre, and stole a bike belonging to a university lecturer.
Mr Anderson said: “A gentleman had left his bicycle, worth £1,200, at the National Glass Centre on the Friday. On Monday he came back to find it had been stolen and there was fresh damage to the cycle lockers.
“It seems that there was also one of these hi-vis jackets taken and in due course police recognised the defendant as responsible and he was arrested.
“He was asked about wearing one of these hi-vis jackets that came from one from the cycle cupboards.
“ Although he did plead guilty eventually, he first denied it was him on the CCTV footage.
“He said ‘no it’s not me’ then ‘no comment, no comment, no comment’.
“These offences occurred fairly swiftly following his release from custody on November 18.”
Leadbitter, formerly of High Street East, Sunderland, but with a bail address in Montrose Street, Darlington, pleading guilty to two burglaries, criminal damage and theft.
Geoffrey Forrester, defending, said: “There is futility in locking him up, because he was locked up last year and he re-offended very soon after.
“The only benefit from locking him up is that, for a period of time, he won’t be able to re-offend, but when he gets out the same factors would apply.”
Leadbitter was sentenced to three months’ imprisonment, suspended for a year, with six months’ drug rehabilitation and 40 days of specified activity.
He was told to pay a total of £800 in compensation.