A MAN who stole a van before abandoning it on the road was caught after forensic officers found his fingerprint on the steering wheel.

Andrew Graham stole the vehicle from outside a garage at a property on Archerhill Road in Knightswood on January 16, 2019.

The 47-year-old of Govan appeared at Glasgow Sheriff Court for sentencing on Tuesday.

The court heard: “The witness was working within his garage and moved his van to light it up as there was no other lighting in the area.

“He had parked the van in front of the garage with the lights activated. He heard his van engine revving up and observed a man in the driver’s seat. He then observed the van move away and hitting signs.

“At this time, another witness was within her home and heard a loud banging noise coming from the side of the property.

“The witness attended outside and observed the owner of the van who asked if she could contact police.”

Officers then attended and took details before conducting a search for the stolen van. At around 11pm, the van was traced near to Duntreath Avenue.

The procurator fiscal depute added: “Officers observed no persons within the van, which was open, and had no keys within.

“The van was sent for forensic examination. On April 4, 2019, police received indication that forensic evidence obtained found a fingerprint from the centre of the steering wheel. This fingerprint was identified as the accused’s.”

Glasgow Times:

Graham’s solicitor said that his client couldn’t recall this incident.

He added: “That is no surprise as to the chaotic lifestyle he was leading. However, this was the last offence he committed. He was previously made subject to a drug treatment and testing order and this significantly reduced the levels of drugs he was misusing.

“He has not been arrested in two years, and he’s not using drugs the way he used to in the past.”

The solicitor added that Graham would be suitable for a community-based disposal.

Sheriff Shona Gilroy told him: “Let’s see if this is a turnaround. I’m going to put you on a structured deferred sentence.

“Co-operate with social workers and keep out of trouble. You will come back in three months, along with a report of your progress. It’s in your hands.”

A review was set for August.