Sunderland thief’s four-day crime spree

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A thief who went on a four-day crime spree across Sunderland has been jailed for 21 months.

Gavin Ball stole a £2,000 car, two sets of car keys worth £455 and over £150 of petrol from two garages this summer.

While embarking on the drug-fuelled spree, the 26-year-old was on bail for an attempted theft, where he tried to snatch £20 notes at a post office on Fawcett Street.

On July 31 this year, Ball went into the Tesco car wash at Roker Avenue, Sunderland, where he broke into a cabin and stole keys to a Vauxhall Astra belonging to the garage manager and a valuable Audi Quattro, belonging to a customer.

He then distracted the garage manager before getting into his car.

The manager leapt on to the bonnet and the windscreen, breaking it, in his attempts to stop Ball.

Luckily, he was able to get down safely before Ball drove away.

The next day, Ball went to Morrisons supermarket in Seaburn at 3.45pm, filling up his car and containers with diesel before making off without paying the £90 bill.

At 10pm that night, he stole £62.76 of diesel from a Sainsbury store, filling up containers in the back of his car before making off without paying once again.

At the time, Ball was banned from driving for previous offences of failing to stop and careless driving.
Jane Foley, defending, said: “This 26-year-old man is a drug addict. He has been a drug addict since he was 17 and has struggled since then managing his addiction.”

Ball, of Chatterton Street, Southwick, Sunderland, pleaded guilty to attempted theft, theft, burglary, two counts of making off without payment, driving while disqualified and driving without insurance.

He also asked for three further counts of making off without payment, theft of a registration plate, driving whilst disqualified and alteration of a V5 document to be taken into consideration. He was banned from driving for 18 months.