A STOURBRIDGE thief stole car batteries from a waste site after he spotted them through a fence - but was found hiding in some bushes by a police dog.

Convicted burglar Gary Perrins took car batteries, worth £200, from Severn Waste Recycling in Droitwich but was sniffed out by a police dog after a security firm which monitors the site raised the alarm.

The 53-year-old, frm Kingsway, admitted theft and possession of cannabis on September 9 when he appeared before magistrates in Worcester on Thursday.

Emily Clewer, prosecuting, said a security company monitoring the site called police shortly before 1am. Officers and police dogs arrived at the scene to find padlocks unlocked and 19 car batteries outside the gates. The police dog found the defendant hiding in some bushes. He was searched and found to have two cannabis buds.

The defendant has 26 convictions for 73 offences, 40 of which are for theft and ‘kindred matters’ and seven for ‘drug-related matters’. His last conviction was six years ago for burglary.

Perrins, who represented himself at the hearing, said: “It was a stupid incident. It was done in desperation. I had no money.”

He added: “I completely regret the incident and it won’t happen again. I’m sorry.”

Perrins, who told magistrates he had been earning money via ‘markets and car boots’, said his main concern now was his marriage. “It was just desperation for money and I saw the batteries the other side of the fence,” he said.

Magistrates handed Perrins a conditional discharge for two years and ordered the forfeiture and destruction of the drugs. He must pay a contribution to costs of £185 and a statutory victim surcharge of £22.