Laurieston scrap metal thief claimed he was ‘just trying to feed his family’

A supposedly hard-up thief used a courtesy car to help him in his bid to pinch copper piping from properties.

When he was stopped by the owners of the materials before he could load them into the vehicle, David Anderson (36), also known as Brand, told them he was just trying to feed his family.

Appearing at Falkirk Sheriff Court last Thursday, Anderson had pled guilty to the thefts he committed in Grahamsdyke Street, Laurieston on April 5 and Lynnbank Farm, Dollar on April 28.

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Procurator fiscal depute Susan Campbell said: “There were scrap metals at the bottom of the garden. The householder saw a vehicle pull up outside the property and the accused exit the vehicle.

“She heard a clattering noise and saw the accused climbing over a wall which leads into the rear garden of the property. She saw him make his way back to the wall carrying copper and other pipes,

“She confronted him and he said he would return the pipes and other materials if she didn’t contact the police.”

Police were ultimately contacted and the value of the items was around £30.

Later that month – and still driving the courtesy car – Anderson struck again at a farm and was once more stopped before he could make good his escape.

“The owner was met by the accused,” said the procurator fiscal depute. “He was carrying quantities of lead piping in each hand and was walking towards a vehicle parked there. He said he had been given permission to remove the piping, but the householder knew this to be false and asked him to return it.

“The accused said ‘I don’t do this very often – I’m just trying to feed my family’.”

Michael Lowrie, defence solicitor, said father-of-two Anderson was having “financial difficulties” at the time and had taken to collecting scrap to “supplement his income”.

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Sheriff Robert Dickson deferred sentence on Anderson, 79 Ashley Terrace, Alloa, until December 19 for a criminal justice social work report.