Woman facing jail for stealing spare car wheels

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A WOMAN is facing jail after admitting a spate of thefts of spare wheels from work vans in Wearside.

Half a dozen vans were targeted in Washington and Houghton by Dani Leigh Black in January and February, causing almost £1,000 worth of damage, Sunderland Magistrates’ Court heard.

Having been arrested and charged with two thefts, she admitted a further five offences which she asked to be taken into consideration (TIC).

Black was caught after a partial registration, taken from a vehicle seen near the crime scenes, matched that of her dark blue Vauxhall Corsa, prosecutor Paul Anderson said.

The 27-year-old admitted 
the theft of a spare wheel worth £130 from a van in Houghton on January 17, and one of the same value from a Virgin Media van parked in Washington a week later.

The TICs include four thefts of spare wheels, including three vans and one HGV, and another of damaging a vehicle.

Mr Anderson said: “She said she recently lost her job and was put into some financial difficulty.

“That fuelled the motivation when she was approached by two males and asked to drive to various locations.

“She accepts that part of the time she knew the items were stolen and sold on for a profit by the two males she was with. 
She is the only person charged with offences.”

Mr Anderson added that Black’s record includes a caution for theft from an employer.

Defence solicitor Philippa Wylie said Black fell on hard times when she lost her job.

She said: “She’s been approached by a friend who has said ‘do you want to make some easy money?’.

“Initially she didn’t realise what the situation was. She’s not physically carried out any of these thefts, although of course she is guilty in the eyes of the law.”

Black, who lived in Grasswell, Houghton, has been staying with her boyfriend in Newcastle, where she now works at a car dealership.

She was released on bail by magistrates and will be sentenced today after the probation service have prepared a pre-sentence report about her.