Bungling petrol thief is admonished

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When a teenager found himself “stranded” in Hawick, he cut a car fuel pipe in a bid to get petrol to drive home.

But the 18-year-old also mistakenly cut through the brake pipe, leaving the vehicle in a dangerous condition.

At Jedburgh Sheriff Court, Kevin Schneider, of Bright Street, admitted cutting a car fuel pipe and attempting to steal petrol, while the vehicle was parked in the owner’s driveway in Wilton Hill Park Road, on October 8/9 last year.

At a previous hearing, depute fiscal Tessa Bradley told how the car owner left her vehicle parked in her driveway around noon on October 8 and found at around 3pm the following afternoon it wouldn’t start.

“The brake failure warning light came on and she and her husband checked the car and found that a brake pipe and a fuel pipe had been cut,” explained Ms Bradley.

Police were contacted and DNA linked the accused to the crime.

When officers spoke to Schneider he said he could remember being at the locus with others.

“He said he was trying to cut the fuel line to steal petrol, using scissors, and that he had cut the brake pipe in error,” continued Ms Bradley.

Defence solicitor Rory Bannerman said his client had been “stranded in Hawick and thought that the best way to try to get back home was to get petrol”.

“The potential danger to the car owner cannot be imagined,” he conceded.

He said his client had been a college student at the time and had since left home.

Schneider was admonished, but ordered to pay £507 compensation for the damage he caused.

On a further complaint, Schneider was also admonished, and ordered to pay £100 compensation, after he admitted recklessly breaking a mirror cover on a car parked in Burnfoot Road, on November 1 last year, and breaking two wing mirrors on another car.

“If you are going around damaging other people’s cars, then you pay for it,” Sheriff Kevin Drummond told the accused.