A man who stole a blue-light bar off of a police vehicle outside Sunderland Station for ‘bragging rights’ has been sent to prison.
A CCTV image released by the British Transport Police showing the thief with the light bar went viral after the theft on 27th December 2018.
David McBeth, 30, jumped on the British Transport Police car’s roof and pulled and kicked at the blue lights, eventually ripping them off the top of the response vehicle.
McBeth was seen on CCTV walking away with the lights slung over his shoulder. They were never recovered.
McBeth, of John Street in Sunderland, was soon charged with theft.
Replacing the blue light bar and hiring a replacement police vehicle cost more than £1,000.
McBeth appeared at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court on Thursday 19th March, pleaded guilty and was jailed for ten weeks.
Police Constable Michael Proudfoot, of British Transport Police, said:
“This was an act of sheer stupidity; he targeted a squad car in clear view of cameras and would not stop until he got hold of the emergency lights.
“You can only imagine he did this for some nonsense bragging rights.
“What he clearly didn’t consider is that it would force us to take a car out of action and cost the police time and money to get it replaced.
“Such selfishness isn’t something we or the courts take lightly, and that’s why he’s been jailed.”
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