Thief caught after returning to Trinity Walk store days after he stole from it

A prolific thief was caught shopping with his family at the same store he stole from just over a week earlier.

Saturday, 20th February 2016, 4:00 pm
Picture shows Bungling Nigel Ball who stole a fish tank from a pet store but was caught when he returned to buy goldfish to fill it. See Ross Parry copy RPYFISH A thief has admitted it "probably wasn't the cleverest idea" to go back to the shop he had nicked a fish tank from - to buy some fish. Daft Nigel Ball, 52, was spotted on CCTV walking out of a Pets At Home store with a £50 tank under his arm. But just six days later, the hapless crook led police straight to his home after he returned to the scene of his crime - to buy some fish for the tank he'd swiped. / Andrew McCaren

Wakefield Magistrates’ Court heard that Nigel Ball, of Basford Court, Wakefield, was captured on CCTV stealing DVDs from WHSmith in Trinity Walk shopping centre last December.

And just nine days after the theft, Ball, 55, returned to the shopping centre with his wife and children, where staff recognised him and he was arrested on December 21.

The court heard that his previous convictions included 125 matters of theft.

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Karen Medley, prosecuting, said staff had only reviewed the CCTV footage the day before Ball returned to Trinity Walk.

She said CCTV showed him walking up to a DVD collection and removing the tag before stealing it.

At one point during the theft, he looked up to the camera and his distinctive tattoo could be seen.

Magistrates were told Ball, who pleaded guilty and appeared via a video link from HMP Armley in Leeds, previously had problems with class A drugs and alcohol.

But Rob Fones, mitigating, said the theft was motivated by money after he stopped receiving some benefits.

The court heard he was jailed for 10 weeks on February 9 for eight shop thefts.

Mr Fones said Ball had been struggling with depression after the death of his daughter last year.

The court heard he had moved back in with his parents but started drinking again.

Ball was sentenced by magistrates to 14 days concurrent in prison and ordered to pay £37.99 compensation.