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Thief was identified by CCTV on social media before he was brought to justice

An opportunist thief was captured on CCTV and social media footage stealing clothing and a tent from a trailer outside a home.

Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on October 2 how Sean Atkinson, 44, of Alma Street, Alfreton, claimed he had been looking for discarded goods when he stole a bag of clothing and a tent from a trailer on Willows Avenue, at Alfreton.

Chesterfield magistrates' court.

Chesterfield magistrates' court.

Neil Hollett, prosecuting, said: “The defendant went to a trailer and a driveway and saw some bags of clothing and a tent and this was captured on CCTV.”

He added that the owner of the home says her son keeps property in the trailer which is covered up.

Mr Hollett said that the CCTV of the offence was viewed and placed on social media and it showed someone walking up and down driveways of addresses before he walked towards the trailer and took a large bag of clothes.

The defendant was also seen on the footage an hour later, according to Mr Hollet, returning and taking a tent from the trailer.

Mr Hollett said: “The defendant was wanted in relation to the offence and attempts were made to get him to hand himself in.

“Eventually, he went to Alfreton police station with the tent and poles and these were seized by police but no officer was there so he was not arrested.”

Atkinson was later arrested and pleaded guilty to stealing clothing and a tent after the theft on July 28.

He told police that he had been out-and-about in the early hours and was cold and he was looking for clothes that may have been discarded.

Defence solicitor Paul McLeod said Atkinson was identified by police after footage had been released on Facebook.

Magistrates fined Atkinson £40 and ordered him to pay £85 costs and a £30 victim surcharge.