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Thief stole two urns and football memorabilia from outside Serendipity Antiques

James Whittingham nicked items from unlocked car - but tried to claim he'd found them in a bin

Serendipity Antiques in Bridge Street, Lockwood(Image: Google street view)

A MAN stole two urns from a car belonging to the owner of an antique shop – and claimed he found them in the bin.

James Whittingham admitted to the theft which took place outside Serendipity Antiques in Lockwood.

He entered the unlocked vehicle, which owner Simon Franco had left parked on Bridge Street, and took the blue and white urns together with some football memorabilia.

Police caught the 33-year-old in a nearby alleyway holding a large shopping bag and rucksack.

He claimed that had found the items discarded in some rubbish bins by the shop.

Whittingham said that he was on his way home at 6.30am when he took the opportunity to steal from the car.

His solicitor Daniel Smith told Kirklees Magistrates’ Court: “It was an opportunistic incident, the car was unlocked and he was simply returning home when he saw it.

“He lives with friends and relies on them as he has no income or benefits.”

District Judge Michael Fanning ordered Whittingham, of Woodhead Road in Lockwood, to pay £120 fine plus £85 court costs and £30 victim surcharge.

He told him: “It seems that you were down on your luck but this isn’t the way to react to that.”

The shop was in the spotlight five years ago when a BBC film crew spent the day filming there for an episode of Antiques Road Trip.

The programme involved teams of two driving round the country in vintage cars, stopping off at various antique shops to buy items to put in an auction.

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