A thief who struck at a garden centre and a clothes shop was identified and brought to justice after someone took a picture of him with a mobile phone.
Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on July 13 how Rokas Pocius, 23, of Worcester Close, Clay Cross, stole ornaments valued at £132 belonging to Brook Garden Centre, at Whittington Way, Chesterfield, and other items including clothing from TK Maxx in the town.
Prosecuting solicitor Becky Allsop said: “The first matter was on May 19 at a garden centre in Whittington and he was seen carrying a bag and walking away with an ornament and he was stopped and further items were recovered from his bag.
“A member of staff took a photo of him with a mobile phone and handed it to police and he was identified.”
Lithuanian Pocius was arrested and released on bail but after he failed to appear at court a warrant had to be issued for his arrest and while he was at large he stole clothing from TK Maxx.
Mrs Allsop added: “He was seen putting items in a basket and putting them under his jacket and he was stopped and the goods were recovered.”
Pocius told police he had stolen items to buy drugs because he has a heroin habit and he intended to sell the items on.
The defendant added that he felt bad and guilty for what he had done and he wanted to apologise.
Pocius, who has previous convictions, pleaded guilty to the two thefts from May 19 at the garden centre and from July 12 at TK Maxx and admitted failing to answer to bail.
Magistrates adjourned the case to consider a probation report and later sentenced Pocius to a 12 month community order with a Drug Rehabilitation Requirement and a Rehabilitation Activity Requirement.
He was also fined £20 and ordered to pay an £85 victim surcharge.