A SNEAK thief who broke into a house owned by the Catholic Church was spotted fleeing the scene on a nun’s bike.
Michael Smith kicked open the front door of Cathedral House in York Place and found the bicycle belonging to Sister Mary Julian Ekman in the hallway.
Drug addict Smith, 49, grabbed the black two-wheeler owned by the nun and made off last April.
But hewas soon collared after an off-duty police officer witnessed the break-in from the top floor of a passing bus.
The officer phoned in the incident and Smith was picked up and arrested later that evening after being identified due to CCTV coverage of the area.
Cathedral House is the postal address of, and a property owned by, the Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh and is located just yards from the capital’s main Catholic church St Mary’s Cathedral.
Smith, from Shandwick Place, pleaded guilty to stealing the bicycle from Cathedral House on April 13 last year when he appeared in the dock at the capital’s sheriff court.
The court was told Smith had passed the property at about 5pm and tried his luck by booting the front door of the property “four or five times” before it burst open.
After forcing entry Smith then grabbed the 42-year-old nun’s bicycle before riding off along York Place towards the Leith area. Solicitor Leanne McQuillan said her client had served previous custodial sentences for housebreaking and was currently adhering to a restriction of liberty order previously imposed for a separate offence.
Sheriff Peter Braid deferred sentence on the thief to next month for reports and for the Crown to establish the value of the nun’s bike.