DNA evidence led to capture of Plymouth cable thief
A BUNGLING thief who stole cable worth £1,400 cut himself and left DNA in his blood behind at a building site, a court heard.
And when police came knocking at the door of 22-year-old Gary White they found he had kept a receipt for the metal from a scrap dealer, Plymouth magistrates were told.
White, of Apsley Road, Mutley, admitted theft of the metal worth £1,400 from the site belonging to Barratt Homes in North Prospect about May 15.
His solicitor said he sold the cable for scrap for just £50.
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Soo Jackaman-Hall, for the Crown Prosecution Service, said the site at The Hub was protected by a fence almost three metres high. The Hub is a site for new homes and community facilities on the site of the former North Prospect Community School.
She added builders had been preparing to bury the cable in the ground on May 16. But they found a length of metal had been hacked away.
Miss Jackaman-Hall said a small amount of blood was found on the remaining cable.
She added DNA was analysed and matched to White.
Miss Jackaman-Hall said police searched White's home and found an invoice for the cable from a scrap metal company. Graham Kinchin, for White, said he had only received £50 for the cable.
He added he had no drink nor drugs problems and the money went on child maintenance. Mr Kinchin said he had an infected finger which needed hospital treatment over several months and was also suffering from depression. White himself said he wanted to go back to college and "get a trade".
Magistrates gave White a 12-month community order under probation supervision. He must complete the service's Thinking Skills programme.
He was also ordered to pay Barratt Homes £1,400 in compensation to replace the cable.