Dash cam catches phone thief in action

A prolific crook who stole a delivery driver's phone off his dashboard was caught on the van's camera and police recognised him immediately, a court heard.

Drug addict Lloyd Gary McMillan, who has over 70 offences on his record, had helped himself to Iremeusz Matwiszyn’s Samsung Galaxy S5 as the victim dropped off newspapers at Duke Bar News at 6am. McMillan claimed he had been having trouble sleeping and couldn’t explain why he stole the phone, the town’s magistrates were told.

McMillan (29), a convicted burglar and one-time persistent thief, has served time. In the past, he has been made the subject of two anti-social behaviour orders banning him from shops in East Lancashire. He admitted theft from a vehicle on March 10th.

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The defendant, of Pheasantford Street, Burnley, was given a six-week curfew, between 7pm – 7am, seven days a week. He must pay £85 costs and a victim surcharge.

Prosecutor Mrs Alex Mann said the victim left his phone on the dashboard and on his return to the van, realised it had been stolen. She continued: “He has a camera in the vehicle. He checked the footage and saw two males walking past the front of the van, looking into it. One of them then went close to the vehicle. He handed the footage to the police and the defendant was identified from it.”

Mrs Mann said McMillan had a “considerable number” of previous convictions, but was last in trouble in 2014.

David Lawson (defending) said McMillan had trouble sleeping and had been prescribed valium. He noticed the van was open and saw the phone on the dashboard. The solicitor continued: “For some reason unbeknown to him he foolishly, on impulse, took the phone. Thankfully, it was recovered in a workable state.”

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Mr Lawson said: “He made admissions when interviewed. He was put on a curfew by police and he’s adhered to that. He has been engaging with Inspire( the treatment service ) and working with the police- run Revolution project.”

The solicitor said McMillan was in receipt of employment and support allowance.