A metal thief who stole dozens of cages, drain covers and even the gates of a cancer charity has avoided jail.
Jason Reynolds travelled around targeting cages from Tesco Express, Waitrose and One Stop Shop, and even gates from Marie Curie Cancer Care.
His two-month crime spree was brought to an end when police received a tip about a suspicious vehicle around 3am on March 7.
Mr Nicholas Burn, prosecuting, said: “A blue Nissan van belonging to Mr Reynolds had cages belonging to Tesco worth £300.
“The defendant would use his vehicle to load it up with cages and covers and sell them on to scrap yards.”
The court heard Reynolds had acquired 49 metal cages, 12 drainage covers and two gates over the three months, to the value of £6,500. Mr Andrew Baker, defending, said he stole the items to fund a heroin addiction.
Reynolds, aged 29, of Beaubrook Gardens, Wordsley, Stourbridge pleaded guilty to five counts of theft by finding between January 26 and March 7 at Wolverhampton Crown Court. He was previously sentenced to 12 weeks in prison at Dudley Magistrate’s Court, suspended for 12 months in March.
Judge Martin Walsh said: “I am not optimistic but I am prepared to give you a chance. If you do not take this chance you are going to prison.”
Reynolds was handed a 12-month prison sentence suspended for two years and made the subject of a 12-month drug rehabilitation requirement.
He will be under curfew from 9pm to 6am for four months.