A 31-year-old Padiham man who syphoned £80-worth of diesel out of a farm vehicle claimed he had run out of fuel.
Blackburn magistrates heard James Joseph Martin used a piece of hosepipe he found in the farmyard to remove the diesel.
But the convenient discovery proved his undoing because police were able to get a DNA match from the end of the pipe where he had sucked to start the syphon process.
Martin, of Langdale Road, Padiham, pleaded guilty to theft of diesel belonging to Barbara Duckworth. He was made subject to a six-week curfew between 7pm and 7am and ordered to pay £80 compensation.
Joanne Howarth (defending) said Martin had broken down after running out of fuel and had gone into the farm yard looking for help.
“He made the foolish decision to take the fuel after he found the hose in the yard,” said Miss Howarth.