A gas-sniffing thief pulled a knife from his sleeve after he was caught nicking crème eggs and greetings cards from a Home Bargains store.
Repeat offender Mark Warren tried to flee the Wellgate shop on March 31 before being apprehended by staff.
Suspicions were raised after Warren had asked to purchase ammonia to mix with drugs.
Warren – a man with 66 previous convictions – was locked up after pleading guilty to the offences at Dundee Sheriff Court.
A staff member working in the shop at around 2.45pm on the day in question told Warren that they could not help him with the ammonia he requested.
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When looking at Warren’s carrier bag, the employee could see branded Home Bargains greetings cards which he believed Warren had no intention of paying for.
Fiscal depute Marie Irvine said: “The witness went back to the office to review CCTV. The accused had left the store but was seen stealing the cards and similar items.
“He asked for the accused to be traced and he was then brought back into the store.
“The accused appeared to be sniffing gas from a hidden can up his sleeve. The witness asked him to remove whatever he had and a knife fell out which he threw under a nearby table.”
The blade was said to have a black handle and was around five inches long.
Warren, 43, denied all knowledge of the knife and attempted to run out of the shop before being stopped by staff at the checkout area.
He was found with four cards and eight mini crème egg packets with a total value of £11.88.
In connection with the claim he was found with a knife, Warren told police: “It wasn’t mine.”
Warren, a prisoner of HMP Perth, pleaded guilty to stealing greeting cards and chocolate from the shop as well as possessing a knife.
Defence solicitor Theo Finlay said that following his release from custody last November, Warren had been making strides to keep out of trouble and had hoped to link up with a Christian support group in Kilmacolm.
However, Mr Finlay said Warren had suffered a relapse with addictions prior to the incident.
He asked Sheriff Tom Hughes to consider deferring sentence and bailing Warren to allow him to stay with his father and obtain a place with the support group.
Only one outcome in Sheriff Hughes’ mind, however, was appropriate.
He said: “The one major problem I have about this is that charge two is exceptionally serious. You were actually out and about with a knife on the day in question.
“You obviously knew you should not have had it so in all of these circumstances a custodial sentence is inevitable. I would encourage you to carry on in getting all the help that you can.”
Warren was jailed for 12 months.