A THIEF stole a mobile phone from a man’s locker – then called him on it and demanded a reward.
The theft took place after Jason Walsh used the gym facilities at Huddersfield University’s Queensgate campus on January 21.
Andy Wills, prosecuting, told Kirklees magistrates that Mr Walsh went into the locker area to get changed after using the gym equipment.
He left his locker unlocked for a few minutes and noticed his iPhone missing when he returned, the Huddersfield court heard.
Mr Walsh reported the theft to gym staff and the next day received a call to his landline from Iftikhar Ali, who had stolen his phone.
Mr Wills said: “Arrangements were made for the phone to be returned for a fee.
“It was arranged that they would meet up in Huddersfield town centre outside Primark and then, following a further call, to meet outside Huddersfield Town Hall.
“The victim met an Afro-Caribbean male who had the iPhone in his possession, handed it to him and asked for £30.”
However, Mr Walsh refused to give him any money and police were called.
They checked the university’s CCTV footage which showed 45-year-old Ali going to the lockers and leaving a few minutes later.
Mr Wills added: “The defendant said that this was a mistake and he just went there to get a shower because his tap water had been switched off.
“Further enquiries found that, while a leak had been reported, this didn’t require the water to be stopped.”
Magistrates heard that Ali has 102 offences to his name.
He is currently serving a three-year term at HMP Leeds after being jailed in June this year for stealing from a vulnerable man.
Ali took advantage of the autism sufferer after meeting him at Huddersfield Bus Station.
During a conversation Ali reached into his victim’s bag and removed his bank card.
During their talk the man, aged in his 30s, revealed his PIN number and Ali withdrew £750 from his bank account.
The complainant was then approached by Ali again while in the town centre and asked for money.
Sonia Kidd, mitigating, said that her client initially denied the most recent theft.
She explained that he was upset after being informed that no further action would be taken when he handed the phone back.
Ali, formally of Edale Avenue in Newsome, was sentenced to one day in detention already served as punishment for the new offence.