A Fife man has been jailed after stealing a poppy charity collection box and a woman’s mortgage money during raids on three homes.
Craig Russell was caught as he removed £800-worth of goods from a house in Glenrothes just before Christmas.
Russell, 27, formerly of Lochgelly and Dallas Drive, Kirkcaldy, is currently a prisoner at Glenochil.
On November 11 at Alford Gardens, Kirkcaldy, he stole a bracelet, a watch and a charity box and its contents, before stealing a sum of money from an address in Lochleven Road, Lochore, the following day.
On December 21 he broke into a house in Scott Road, Glenrothes, and stole a gym bag, an HP laptop, an Apple iMac laptop, a mug, headphones and clothing.
Depute fiscal Claire Bremner said in the first offence Russell had offered to clear guttering for the home owner and was given money to do the job.
He returned with ladders the next day but the residents later discovered a poppy appeal collection tin was missing.
An appeal was placed on Facebook by the charity collector and Russell’s name was provided to him.
When the man checked Russell’s profile, he saw his own watch and his wife’s bracelet had been put up for sale there. He had not realised until that point the items were missing.
After the man sent him a message, Russell turned up at his door the next morning with the watch. He was told to return the bracelet and charity money as well but he said he did not have them.
In the second crime, a woman returned home to find her rear patio doors open and a pair of black gloves on her bed. Her £320 mortgage money was missing.
Russell’s DNA was later found on the gloves.
In the third break-in, four days before Christmas, a man returned home to find it had been illegally entered. He saw Russell disappearing into bushes outside and chased him.
He recovered £800 worth of items Russell had taken and took a photo of the thief.
Defence solicitor Roshni Joshi said Russell started taking drugs after his relationship broke down and he was suffering from mental health problems.
Sheriff Alastair Brown jailed him for 20 months and two weeks.
The same sheriff jailed Russell for nine months in January for punching his former partner in a Lochgelly street, knocking her to the ground.