Thief smashed car window after chat with householder

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A THIEF spoke to a householder at her home just before breaking into a car outside, a court has heard.

Minutes after the conversation Josh Fealy smashed the passenger window of a Mini parked in the street outside and stole a handbag from the front seat, a court heard.

But as soon as the car alarm went off, the woman phoned police and gave them a detailed description of him.

Fealy, 21, was arrested near the scene of the crime in Bathgate, West Lothian, within minutes, Livingston Sheriff Court was told yesterday.

When he was searched, police found a bank card with the car owner’s name on it and a digital camera he’d taken from the handbag.

Katie McNair, prosecuting, said: “He told police he was looking for his dog. He appeared to be under the influence of something, presumably alcohol or drugs.”

Fealy had just been released from detention after serving a 26-month sentence at the time of the offence.

Sheriff Graeme Fleming imposed a community payback order. He put Fealy under social work supervision for 18 months and ordered him to do 80 hours of unpaid work.