A drug addict who stole the only copy of a St Andrews University student’s dissertation was caught after a phone app tracked him to a Dundee homeless shelter.
Robert Tolmie had broken into the student’s campervan, containing a hard drive and phones, as he and a fellow student attended a Dundee nightclub.
The two students noticed their property was missing on the drive back to the Fife town and activated a “find my iPhone” app, which showed it had been in the Lily Walker Centre, where Tolmie was staying.
Tolmie’s bedroom was searched and a number of items, although not the hard drive containing the dissertation or the mobile phones, were recovered by police.
Tolmie, 29, a prisoner at Perth admitted forcing open a lockfast vehicle in St Roques Lane on August 1 and stealing a number of items including a laptop, mobile phones and hard drive.
He also admitted forcing a open lockfast portable cabin in Broughty Ferry Road on August 1 or 2 and stealing a bicycle and a number of other items.
Jim Caird, defending, said his client was “extremely sorry and remorseful” for his behaviour.
Mr Caird added: “He has had a drug problem over some years. He was assaulted by his girlfriend and had to go into homeless accommodation, which he was trying to avoid.
“He had taken diazepam and he appreciates that the loss of the student’s hard drive and dissertation will have affected him.”
Sheriff Alistair Carmichael deferred sentence for reports until December 8 and remanded Tolmie in custody.