A man caught stealing electrical cable from a building site in the middle of the night told police at the scene he had been looking for a lost dog despite being more than twenty miles from the address listed as his home.
Richard Stewart Dowds (46), of Bramcote Street in east Belfast, was detected at 3am at Clover Brook in Larne on November 19 last year.
Police had responded to a report of a male with a torch acting suspiciously at the building site and found he had a hacksaw for use in theft.
They then discovered he had taken electrical cable worth £20 from the site.
He had used tape to adjust the letters on the front and rear number plates of a vehicle.
The defendant was at Ballymena Magistrates Court this week for sentencing on charges of burglary; going equipped for burglary; theft and fraudulent use of a vehicle registration mark.
Defence barrister Amy Campbell said the offences had been an “act of desperation” by Dowds who had been in financial difficulties and he was looking for “scrap metal to sell”.
Dowds was given a three months jail term, suspended for a year.