Man jailed after repeated robberies saw him pinch two dinghies

A sneaky thief who stole two dinghies and wrote off a stolen Ford Fiesta by smashing it into a lamppost has been locked up.

Serial offender Ian Gray, 31, also hacked into power tools and an iPhone 6 during a crime spree spanning more than two years at several Hillington-based businesses.

The shrewd scammer broke into the backyards of businesses by punching a hole in the perimeter fence which backs onto Hillington West station.

He appeared at Paisley Sheriff Court this week where he admitted robbing McNair Engineering, Brick and Steel Construction, Independent Furniture & Interiors and ASD Electrical between September 2019 and February 24, 2022.

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Solicitor David McDonald told Paisley Sheriff Court: “At approximately 10pm at McNair Engineering a single alarm activation occurred which would normally indicate an alarm fault.

“Around 11.30pm a member of staff noted that a trailer had been moved from its original position in the yard.

“The staff member noted that entry was forced into the back of the trailer and items inside were stolen.

“The following day, the police observed an insecurity in the surrounding fence which leads to the railway line.”

Gray’s fingerprints and DNA were found on the trailer where the items were stolen.

The court heard that when Gray was arrested he refused to have a lawyer and he denied ever being in court and claimed to have been “drunk in another part of Glasgow”.

The court was told the stolen items included two dinghies and three outboard motors worth £6,500 and there was no recovery.

On March 13, 2020, a staff member went to Independent Furniture & Interiors to start his shift when he noticed that the rear fire door had been left open.

The fire door was damaged and a rubber glove was found on the ground outside.

Also on March 13, 2020, a Brick and Steel Construction staff member noticed that a container was open. The padlock had been damaged and tools had been taken away.

Mr McDonald added: ‘CCTV investigations have been carried out into footage from Hillington West station.

“Through CCTV, it was confirmed that between just after 12:20 a.m. and just before 12:50 a.m. on the morning of March 13, 2020, three men proceeded to the first platform and walked through the fence towards the businesses.

“The three men then walked back and forth to the fence several times before returning the same way they came with a quantity of items, believed to be the stolen property.”

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Independent Furniture & Interiors has had nine power tools stolen worth a total of £2,197. The company suffered a loss of £2,057.

No value was provided by Brick and Steel Construction, but none of the items were recovered.

The court heard five drills were stolen from ASD Electrical in Erskine Square, Hillington on April 13, 2020. They were worth £1,950 and were slashed alongside an iPhone 6 and £10 cash.

Mr McDonald also told the court that on February 24 this year a white Ford Fiesta was stolen from Brick and Steel Construction, worth £12,500, and was written off when Gray crashed it into a lamppost in paisley.

Defense agent Kirsty McGeehan told the court that Gray “fully accepts and regrets” her behavior.

Sheriff Tom McCartney jailed Gray for 12 months, backdated to February 25.

He was also banned from driving for 12 months.

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