Reluctant thief caught by DNA

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DNA samples found in a stolen car in Cambridgeshire linked a Spalding man to the crime, magistrates were told on Thursday.

Robert Crosby (19), of Horseshoe Road, was arrested after the car was examined by investigating officers.

He pleaded guilty to being a passenger in a car which was taken without the owner’s consent and to stealing a number plate.

Spalding Magistrates’ Court decided to give him a 12-month community and supervision order and to fit him with an electronic tag for two months. He must also pay £85 costs. Crosby will be restricted to his home between 8pm and 6am.

Prosecutor Jill Darby said the Nissan vehicle had been taken from Holbeach on April 12 after it was left with keys in the ignition.

It was recovered in Cambridgeshire with different number plates on April 19. She said: “DNA was taken. A match was found and Crosby was arrested.

“After initial denials he admitted he had gone with another person.”

Crosby also admitted breaching a 12-month conditional discharge from an earlier offence.

Dav Naghen, defending, told the court Crosby had been approached by another male who had asked him to drive the car out of the county. Mr Naghen said Crosby had intially declined but got in the vehicle as a passenger because he was “intimidated”.

He said the other person had “wiped their marks away”.

Angela Jones, representing the Probation Service, said Crosby was “easily led” but she had been impressed he had asked about the possibility of having an electronic tag to give him some structure.