A thief who stole £1,200 worth of cigarettes and tobacco from a delivery van was caught by a tracking device.
Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on Thursday, December 10, how Jhalak Dey, 49, stole the bag of tobacco and cigarettes from the back of a van parked at a Tesco Express in Chesterfield.
Prosecuting solicitor Mark Salt said: “The van driver for Palmer and Harvey, which is a national company delivering to supermarkets, was at a Tesco Express, in Chesterfield.
“During a delivery one thing was left on the vehicle and this was a bag with £1,200 of tobacco and this was a decoy bag with a tracking device.
“The driver returned to the van and noticed the roller door was up after he had left it down and the bag had gone.”
The court heard how the tracking device in the stolen bag was activated and it was tracked down with the police to a Fiat rental car heading away from Chesterfield.
Dey, of Mercer Avenue, Water Orton, in Birmingham, pleaded guilty to stealing the tobacco after the incident on November 18.
The probation service said it was a spur of the moment offence according to Dey because he had seen the truck with its door open and had noticed the bag and he stole the goods for financial gain.
Defence solicitor Anette Thomas said: “It was an opportunistic moment as he was driving back from the Lake District and he stopped at the supermarket and he saw the vehicle and saw the bag and he took the bag.
“He accepts responsibility and he accepts he shouldn’t have taken the items.
“He had difficulties at home and had given up his employment to care for his mother who had been diagnosed with cancer and she died in July. He is now on universal credit benefits.
“He didn’t know what he was going to do with the cigarettes following his arrest and he was disappointed with himself after he had been out of trouble for some time.”
Magistrates warned Dey that he could have gone to prison for the theft but they opted to impose a 12 month community order with a 30 day Rehabilitation Activity Requirement and 80 hours of unpaid work.
Dey must also pay £85 costs, a £180 courts charge and a £60 victim surcharge.