Angry OAP chased and caught serial thief who stole her phone



A serial thief was chased by a 67-year-old woman after he stole her mobile phone from her bag at a Dunfermline bowling club. 

Drug addict Barry Rankine gave up the phone when confronted by angry pensioner who went face to face with him after the pursuit. 

His own solicitor described the theft of the £600 phone as “despicable”. 

Rankine, 30, of James Bank Hostel, Dunfermline, who has been repeatedly granted bail to continue his crime spree, has now finally been jailed. 

Rankine, who was on nine bail orders, targeted Debenhams and other stores in Dunfermline in a “catalogue” of stealing. 

Depute fiscal Sarah Lumsden said the phone incident took place in Priory Lane last summer when the woman left her bag at the door of a bowling club as she popped in there. 

Rankine stole the phone from the bag but the woman went after him. 

When she saw her mobile phone was missing she ran after Rankine and her husband got in his car and drove after them. 

She followed him into Monastery Street and saw him going into the Garden for Heroes commemoration site. 

“Her husband arrived and the couple both entered the garden. She came face to face with the accused. He threw the phone on the ground and said, ‘There’s your phone’.” 

Rankine had repeated been released by sheriffs and carried out more thefts. 

On one court appearance Rankine blamed the snow for his thieving, saying he was “stuck in Dunfermline” unable to work. 

He appeared for sentencing from custody at Dunfermline Sheriff Court for his long string of offences. 

He had previously admitted that on 6th March at Primark, Dunfermline, he stole a quantity of clothing. 

He also admitted that on 7th March at Debenhams, he stole a quantity of fragrance. 

He admitted that on 10th March at Debenhams he stole a quantity of skin care items. 

On 21st February at Debenhams, Kingsgate, he stole quantity of fragrances. 

On 23rd February at Next, High Street, he stole jewellery and fragrances. 

Rankine further admitted that the same day in East Port he was in possession of diamorphine.  

He was also sentenced for offences from last year. 

On 17th June at Marks and Spencer, Kingsgate, he stole a quantity of alcohol. 

On 25th June at Priory Lane, he stole a mobile phone. 

On 29th June at Debenhams, he stole a quantity of fragrance. 

On 5th July at Debenhams, he stole a quantity of perfume. 

On 1st September at Marks and Spencer he stole a quantity of clothing. 

On 18th September at Asda, St Leonards Street, he stole a quantity of groceries. 

Defence solicitor Gwenn Haggerty said, “His position is the mobile phone theft was a crime of opportunity. He accepts it was a fairly despicable offence to have committed. 

“It’s a catalogue of offending from June last year and he’s resigned to his fate.” 

Sheriff Charles MacNair jailed Rankine for a total of 14-and-a-half months.

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