Fife man chased and caught thief running off with £800-worth of goods
A thief targeted three homes in Fife stealing money, computers and a poppy charity collection.
Craig Russell was caught red-handed by one home owner who saw him leaving after raiding his house in Glenrothes.
Russell (27), formerly of Lochgelly and Kirkcaldy, is currently a prisoner at Glenochil for another offence.
He was brought back to Dunfermline Sheriff Court and admitted his latest crimes.
On 11th November a Alford Gardens, Kirkcaldy, he stole a bracelet, a watch and a charity box and its contents.
On 12th November at Lochleven Road, Lochore, he stole a sum of money.
On 21st December he broke into a house in Scott Road, Glenrothes, and stole a gym bag, a HP laptop, an Apple iMac laptop, a mug, headphones and clothing.
Depute fiscal Claire Bremner said in the first offence Russell had offered to clear guttering for the home owner and was given money to do the job.
It was the next day that Russell returned with ladders to do the job.
Later, the residents discovered that a poppy collection tin was missing.
An appeal was placed on Facebook by the man who was raising the money for charity and Russell’s name was provided to him.
When the man checked Russell’s profile, he saw his own watch and his wife’s bracelet had been put up for sale there. He had not realised until then that these items were missing.
After the man sent him a message, Russell turned up at his door the next morning with the watch. He was told to return the bracelet and charity money as well but he said he did not have them.
In the second crime, a woman returned home to find her rear patio doors open and a pair of black gloves on her bed. She then found her £320 mortgage money was missing.
Russell’s DNA was later found to be on the gloves.
In the third incident, four days before Christmas, a man returned home to find his home had been broken into. He then looked outside, saw Russell disappearing into bushes and chased after him.
He took back all the items worth £800 and took a photo of the thief.
Defence solicitor Roshni Joshi said Russell started taking drugs after his relationship broke down and he was suffering from mental health problems.
Sheriff Alastair Brown jailed Russell for 20 months and two weeks.
The same sheriff jailed Russell for nine months in January for punching his former partner in the street, knocking her to the ground in Lochgelly.