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Thieving lout jailed for year-long crimewave across Dundee and Angus

Ryan Robertson. Image: Facebook.
Ryan Robertson. Image: Facebook.

A tearaway who stole cars and £23,000 worth of designer goods during a year-long one-man crimewave has been jailed for 16 months.

Ryan Robertson claimed his prolonged criminal spree was sparked by a volatile relationship with his partner.

It was only brought to a halt by a high-speed police chase.

Robertson stole tens of thousands of pounds worth of cars and trucks, a motorbike, a caravan, bicycles and designer watch, before he was eventually captured by police.

He already had a list of previous convictions for crimes of dishonesty and dangerous driving when he commenced the latest spate of offending on May 26 last year.

At Dundee Sheriff Court, Sheriff Gregor Murray said: “These offences represent a significant burst of offending over a prolonged period.

“This is aggravated by the number of charges, the number of acts of dishonesty and the value of the goods stolen being in the region of £23,000.

“You can’t hide from that.

“There is no credible alternative to a custodial sentence.”


The court heard how Robertson, 22, carried out nearly 20 offences over a 14-month period before he was eventually brought to justice.

He was driving so fast as he entered a public park that pursuing police officers were advised to end the chase over safety fears.

By the time he was apprehended for dangerous driving on July 1 2022 he had committed 19 crimes across Dundee and Angus.

The Courier previously told how Robertson, from Dundee, admitted breaking a court curfew to steal a chainsaw from the back of a van while the owner was picking up a burger at McDonalds at Forfar in May last year.

Robertson stole a chainsaw from outside Forfar McDonald’s and later returned to use a stolen credit card there.

In August, he cut the locking device from a £7,000 KTM motorcycle and stole it.

Later the same month he stole a £25,000 Mitsubishi L200 pick-up truck from Arbroath.

He carried out frauds at a garage and a McDonald’s restaurant by using a bank card which had been stolen from the owner of the pick-up truck.

A fuel tank was drained by Robertson and he stole a caravan from Coupar Angus Road, Dundee, which was later spotted on CCTV driving across the Tay Road Bridge.

Dangerous driving

In September he drove a Transit van with no licence and was responsible for the £8,980 theft of a Rolex watch and a laptop from an industrial unit in Market Mews, Dundee.

He stole further cars in September and October and admitted he was again out of his home and breaking a curfew at the time.

In May this year, Robertson stole three bicycles – worth £8,200 – from Pitairlie Road, Newbigging and was eventually linked to the break-in because his DNA was found a screwdriver recovered nearby.

He was finally caught after a chase in Dundee.

Robertson evaded police in Caird Park was caught later. Image: Steve MacDougall/ DC Thomson.

Fiscal depute Lora Apostalova told the court: “At 4pm on July 1 2022, police were alerted to a suspicious vehicle, a Volkswagen Polo.

“They spotted it and turned to follow the accused.

“He accelerated away from the police vehicle.

“The accused drove across the A90 and went off road into Caird Park.

“The chase was stopped and the car was later found abandoned.”

Robertson, who was not qualified to drive, admitted driving dangerously, failing to stop and having no licence.

‘Requires to be punished’

Robertson admitted all 19 offences.

He was also placed under supervision for 12 months following his release and was banned from driving for 40 months.

Solicitor Jim Laverty, defending, said: “He indicates to me that he went completely and utterly off the rails and accepts he requires to be punished.

“The relationship he was in appears to have been the catalyst for him going off the rails.

“He has accepted his involvement in serious offending.”