A MAN burgled his own workplace in a bid to recover some cash he was owed.
Leon Mullings stole an iPad believing that it was worth the same as money he should have been given for some cleaning work.
However it was worth thousands of pounds more because of the pricey software stored on it.
Mullings, of Longfield Avenue in Dalton, admitted a charge of burglary when he appeared before Kirklees magistrates. They were told that the targeted premises was the Pentagon Nissan dealership in Northgate.
On November 7 at 6.30am a member of staff was working in the showroom.
He then spotted another man wearing a face mask.
Linda Fowler, prosecuting, said: “The employee thought that it was a colleague playing a joke.
“But he then saw the male go over to the iPad and pull it forcibly from its mount.
“He then ran towards the witness, holding what he thought was a screwdriver or a knife.
“The man said: ‘Don’t move or come after me’ and the witness was scared.”
Magistrates were told that the iPad was used as an advertising feature and worth £3,000 because of the specialist software loaded onto it.
Mullings, 27, was caught on CCTV hiding behind a sign before entering the showroom. Police used the footage to identify him.
Clothing matching the outfit he wore to commit the theft was found in his washing machine.
Mullings said in interview that he had made up his mind to commit the offence a few days previously.
He said he had used a screwdriver to undo the tablet computer but denied brandishing it as a weapon.
Peter Hanson, mitigating, said that his client had arranged to do three-hour casual shifts at the showroom at £7 an hour. He had completed 10 days.
Because of this he was owed £200 but didn’t receive the cash despite asking a staff member about this, Mr Hanson said.
He said: “So rather stupidly he decided to take matters into his own hands to recover the money.
“He believed the iPad was worth about £300 and his logic was he was owed this and so would take it.
“He had no idea that the software on it bought it to this (increased) value.
“Mr Mullings felt very frustrated and angry that he hadn’t got paid. But he’s embarrassed that he’s acted so impulsively to try and recover a debt.”
Magistrates gave him a community order for 12 months. This includes a 15-day activity requirement and 80 hours of unpaid work. Mullings was ordered to pay a £60 victim surcharge.