A driver’s mug shot was caught on CCTV during a raid on a food company moments before the intruders tried to evade detection by smearing dirt on their number plates.
Around 25 stainless steel hooked poles – worth £2,500 – were stolen from Dalehead Foods in Fulney Lane North, Spalding, on February 3.
Luke Webb was the man caught by the site’s security camera and his solicitor, Mike Alexander, told Spalding magistrates the theft was carried out “in a completely naive and stupid way”.
Webb (19), of Brickenden Road, Peterborough, was ordered to pay £1,250 compensation to the firm. He was also sentenced to a nine month community order with 120 hours’ unpaid work at Thursday’s hearing.
John Clare, prosecuting, said the men arrived in a Transit van just after 9.30pm and Webb was caught on CCTV.
The van pulled away and three people got out and were seen picking up dirt and smearing it over the plates.
Mr Clare said they then went to an external storage area to steal the poles.
Webb claimed he had only one accomplice and the poles were sold for £98, which was split between them.
Mr Alexander said the operation was not planned and a friend of Webb’s suggested stealing the poles.
He said: “By any stretch of the imagination, this wasn’t something that was done with any great thought. It was done in a completely naive and stupid way.”
Webb pleaded guilty to theft and asked for other offences to be taken into consideration.