A brave crime victim followed burglars as they fled in a car with motorcycle parts, chainsaws and tools after a raid.
Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on Friday, May 6, how Adrian Green, of Pinxton, was woken in the middle of the night and spotted two men loading up items into a car from a pile on the ground.
Prosecuting solicitor Sarah Haslam said Mr Green followed the car down the M1 and managed to get its registration number to help police track down one of the offenders called Bradley Stevenson, 21, of Avon Grove, Chapel Town, Sheffield.
She added: “Mr Green was disturbed from his sleep at 3.10am and heard banging and saw a car outside his property and two males loading items into the vehicle with a further pile on the ground.
“They both got into the car and drove away but he got into his car and quickly headed down the motorway where he saw the two males parked at the side of the road on their way to Junction 28 of the M1.
“He could see the car full of items and he followed it again along the M1 and when the occupants of the car realised they were being followed they turned round and hit Mr Green’s door.
“As Mr Green followed he could see items being thrown from the car and he decided not to follow any longer but took the vehicle’s registration number.”
Miss Haslam told how Mr Green later discovered that his van had been damaged during the raid on June 11, 2015.
Another neighbour also found that his detached garage had been raided and two chainsaws had been taken.
Police traced the registration number, according to Miss Haslam, but could not prove who had been driving during the incident but defendant Bradley Stevenson had clearly been in the vehicle because his cell phone had revealed his location.
Stevenson pleaded guilty to three counts of burglary involving stolen motorcycle parts, equipment and tools from a garage and a garden store, and two stolen chainsaws from a garage.
He also pleaded guilty to interfering with a Mercedes Sprinter van with the intention of theft.
The probation service stated that Stevenson claimed he had been with friends and had not pre-planned the burglaries and had just gone along with the offences.
Stevenson also claimed, according to the probation service, that he had been ashamed of his actions and he has since turned his life around.
Defence solicitor Peter Large said that despite having previous convictions, Stevenson has no convictions for dishonesty and his family has vowed there will be no repeat offending.
Magistrates sentenced Stevenson to a 12 month community order with 150 hours of unpaid work.
He was also ordered to pay £2,050 in compensation, £450 in costs and a £60 victim surcharge.