A 21-year-old man stole lead from three public buildings in Dundee causing nearly 32,000 worth of damage.
Michael Smith, of Ancrum Court, Whorterbank, was jailed for 11 months at Dundee Sheriff Court after admitting stealing lead flashing from the roof of Lochee Primary School on Donald Street.
Smith also admitted stealing lead from Lochee Library, High Street, and Lochee Leisure Centre, St Mary’s Lane causing a total of 31,955 worth of damage to the three buildings.
The court heard Smith sold the lead to the same local scrap dealer in dribs and drabs, in return for a few hundred pounds.
Fiscal depute Kirsty Urquhart told the court the offences came to light in August last year when Lochee Primary School was closed for extensive refurbishment.
The fiscal said: “A building surveyor at the primary school noticed the roof was damaged. He climbed up onto the roof and saw all the lead flashing was missing. He said it was around 70 metres of flashing, 50cms wide, which had been removed.”
Police were contacted, and around the same time they received information linking Smith to the theft and claiming he had sold the lead to a scrap dealer.
Officers attended at the scrap dealer and noted all recent lead transactions, and sales made by Smith.
In the month prior, Smith had made 11 sales of lead, of varying values, adding up to around 300.
The fiscal continued: “After police left, a male attended and sold 73kgs of lead for 76.50.
“The dealer thought it was suspicious and informed police, who attended, reviewed CCTV and seized the lead.”
Officers took the lead to Lochee Primary School but it did not match the flashing stolen from there.
On October 5 police received reports of theft of lead at Lochee Library and, on October 18, reports of missing lead at Lochee Leisure Centre were received.
Police matched the lead they had with that stolen from the leisure centre.
Smith was traced on December 6 and arrested. He admitted three charges of stealing lead from public buildings between April 29 and August 28 last year.
Sheriff Charles Macnair, QC, said: “All of these buildings provide a valuable service to the community and cost money to the public to repair through taxes.
“The value of the lead is not much but the damage was some 30,000.
“I do not consider that a community based disposal would be enough.”