A THIEF broke into his neighbour’s flat to make off with his TV - then set fire to the house to cover his tracks.
Steven Peters, 37, staged a Christmas Eve break-in to next door neighbour John Porter’s home to steal the TV, a camera and a laptop computer before setting a couch alight.
Following the blaze, Mr Porter then reported the theft to police who initially did not follow up on the complaint due to Mr Porter’s “chaotic lifestyle”.
But following enquiries it became apparent electrical equipment worth £950 had been taken from the flat in Dunbar, East Lothian, and Peters was detained by officers four days later.
Peters, from Dunbar, is now facing a prison sentence after he admitted the theft during an appearance at Edinburgh Sheriff Court today.
Depute fiscal Brent Bissett told the court Peters struck after his neighbour John Porter locked his flat up for a few days as he was about to spend Christmas with his partner.
Mr Bissett said: “The accused had consumed a quantity of alcohol along with a friend [at his own home]. He left his property and a few moments later a fire alarm sounded in the stairwell.
“The accused entered the [neighbour’s] premises and while in he removed the television, a camera and a laptop worth £950. He then set fire to the couch and a fire extinguisher was traced to a nearby shop.”
Mr Bissett added Peters’ drinking buddy had then stepped in and put out the fire before the fire service had arrived on the scene.
The court also heard none of the stolen items had been recovered.
Peters admitted to breaking into a flat at High Street, Dunbar, and stole a television, a camera and a laptop valuing £950 on 24 December 2013.
A not guilty plea of setting fire to Mr Porter’s home in a bid to disguise a crime of housebreaking was accepted by the Crown.
Sheriff Gordon Liddle told Peters “a custodial sentence is likely” when he returns to court to be sentenced next month.