Tayside and Central Scotland

Blairgowrie whisky thief James Reid caught on camera

A handyman who broke into a stranger's home to drink whisky was caught when she used secret cameras to crack the mystery.

Businesswoman Vikki Banks set up the surveillance after noticing that whisky regularly disappeared from a bottle in her front room.

Perth Sheriff Court heard that it caught James Reid breaking into her house to help himself to the Scotch.

He admitted the break-in and theft and was ordered to carry out unpaid work.

The court was told that Reid drank the whisky then topped up the bottle with water to cover his tracks.

He had discovered a house key hidden under a stone outside the property in Blairgowrie and had used it to enter Miss Banks' home.

Email alert

Fiscal depute Bill Kermode said the victim installed a camera system that sends automatic email notifications when it detects movement.

He said: "At 10:23 she got an email alert telling her there was motion at the back door.

"The video showed the back door was closed and there was audio of someone knocking at the back door. There was a further notification at 10:57 and she viewed the video.

"She saw the accused walking out of the lounge into the kitchen. At 11:00 another notification showed him leaving and pulling the back door shut.

"She returned to the house and discovered the back door was locked. On entering the kitchen she noticed the top of the whisky was loose and the level had dropped by an inch since she last looked."

Reid, 54, of Perth, committed the crime on 9 February last year. He was ordered to carry out 50 hours of unpaid work as part of a community payback order.

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