The driver of a van had to do a double take when he saw a vehicle parked next to his bearing the same number plate.
Blackburn magistrates heard that when the driver investigated he discovered the plates had been stolen from the back of his vehicle.
And defence solicitor Richard Taylor said there was clearly nothing sophisticated about his client’s behaviour.
Damien Richard Parker (35), of Laithe Street, Burnley, pleaded guilty to stealing a car stereo and a set of number plates belonging to Leisure Tech of Clitheroe and going equipped for theft with the number plates. He was jailed for 28 days after the magistrates heard he had been recalled on prison licence for 28 days.
Miss Parveen Akhtar (prosecuting) said driver Geoffrey Fielding had finished work and parked outside the company unit.
As he left he noticed a Vauxhall Astra parked next to his van and then saw the number plates were the same.
“As part of his job Mr Fielding sometimes has to tow other vehicles and for that reason carries a spare set of number plates,” said Miss Akhtar.
Mr Taylor said since his release from prison Parker had co-operated fully with the conditions of his licence.
“He had found work, stopped taking drugs and everything was going well until Sunday,” said Mr Taylor.
“He went over to Clitheroe for a car boot sale and for some inexplicable reason he decided to break into this van.”