A thief who helped a gang steal a £38,000 motor home was caught when he decided to drive to court in the getaway car to collect other gang members.
Matthew Smith was also easily identified as part of the gang after being filmed on various CCTV cameras across Scotland and the north of England during the getaway.
At one stage he was filmed for several minutes in a service station shop after being seen getting out of the hired Ford Focus the gang used to carry out the theft.
Smith, 42, from Oldham, was jailed for 18 months yesterday after he admitted stealing the brand new camper van from Perthshire caravans in April last year.
Depute fiscal Robbie Brown told Perth Sheriff Court that a tracker had been fitted to the vehicle for security purposes.
“The tracker was used to find the vehicle at a garage in Oldham. A key for it was found on the premises,” he added.
Solicitor Rosemary Scott, defending, said: “Three men appeared in court here on May 1 last year, but Mr Smith was not one of them.
“Mr Smith came to the attention of the police because he was driving the Ford Focus when he came to collect those three people from court.”
It is understood charges against four other men in connection with the theft have been dropped by the Crown.