A THIEVING pensioner – dubbed Grandad Theft Auto – has escaped a jail sentence because it will cost too much to keep him behind bars.
Andrew Yeaman raked in thousands of pounds of goods after targeting holidaymakers’ cars parked in two Edinburgh city centre car parks.
Yeaman, 73, smashed the rear windows of the locked vehicles and made off with various items including laptops, passports and camping equipment.
The crooked OAP – who was also jailed in 1998 for raping a ten-year-old girl – also plundered cameras, cash and jewellery from the six family motors he broke into at the capital’s Q and Elder Street car parks.
It is the second time the former Royal Navy second mate has been caught stealing from parked cars after he was ordered to carry out 200 hours community service two years ago after admitting to 12 similar offences over a five-year period.
But instead of receiving a prison term the elderly thief was sentenced to wear an electronic tag for the next nine months and to stay indoors between 7pm and 7am.
Previously Edinburgh Sheriff Court heard Yeaman, from Port Seton, East Lothian, is currently suffering from pancreatic cancer and has to attend hospital for appointments several times a month for treatment.
During last month’s hearing Sheriff Frank Crowe told Yeaman he was ordering a Restriction of Liberty Order assessment to be carried out as it would “cost an inordinate amount of money to keep you in prison”.
And today Sheriff Crowe decided to issue the pensioner with the nine-month restriction order meaning Yeaman will have to wear a tag and remain indoors on the 7pm to 7am curfew.
Sheriff Crowe said: “This is just an astonishing case. If he was in prison he wouldn’t be getting these [medical] appointments.
“These are serious offences and there was a huge loss of money here.”
Yeaman had previously pleaded guilty to six offences of stealing from vehicles at two Edinburgh car parks between April and October last year.
In 2013 the thief was also caught stealing from tourists’ motors after CCTV images caught him prowling city centre multi-storeys and peeking through car windows to select the most lucrative vehicles to rob.
The OAP was also jailed in 1998 for raping a ten-year-old girl at his then home in the Northfield area of Edinburgh.
Handing down a nine year sentence, Lord Dawson said Yeaman’s crimes – which included making video tapes of the underage sex acts – were “absolutely appalling”.
And the pensioner also appeared in court last year accused of secretly recording chats with a five-year-old girl and a 13-year-old girl about their underwear and boyfriends at his Port Seton home
But the pensioner was cleared of any wrong doing on that occasion following a trial at Haddington Sheriff Court.