aN ALFRETON teenager burgled three neighbouring properties in one night and sold his haul of stolen metal as scrap.
Owner Michael Lawrence was in the process of renovating 47, 49 and 51 Mansfield Road, Alfreton, for letting when George Parker raided the properties.
Mr Lawrence was called at 7.40am on October 13 by an employee who said all three addresses had been broken into and copper cylinders and piping were missing.
Chesterfield magistrates heard that a garden rock had been used to smash a glass panel at one house and a bathroom window had been forced off its hinges at another after the intruder climbed scaffolding. A rear door had been forced open at the other address, where the bathroom floor was flooded.
Helen Griffiths, prosecuting, said Mr Lawrence called scrap dealers Sims Metal and asked them to keep an eye out for stolen copper.
“They rang back to check if an unusual fitting was his and he drove down there and found a number of stolen items.
“The damage caused totalled £1450 and £1200 worth of items had been removed. Mr Lawrence felt shocked and upset and he arranged for a security company to check the properties at night,” said Mrs Griffiths.
Parker, 19, was arrested and told police all three properties had already been broken into by someone else.
He went inside them, intending to steal, and he took items already bagged up. He denied breaking in or causing any flooding.
“He said he asked a friend to take him to scrap metal merchants the following day and he received £127,” added Mrs Griffiths.
Parker, of Prospect Street, Alfreton, admitted the burglaries. He had no previous convictions.
The justices adjourned the case pending a mini-trial on January 20 to decide whether Parker forced entry to the properties.
They said the outcome of that hearing could make a significant difference to the sentence Parker received.