‘Crimewave’ was caught on phone

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A one-woman crimewave was caught after a man she stole from sent police a photograph he had taken of her on his mobile phone.

Michelle Toth, 29, of Renart Hotel, South Promenade, pleaded guilty to two burglaries, two thefts and asked for three offences of shoplifting to be considered.

She was sentenced to eight weeks in prison suspended for 12 months, put on one year’s supervision with nine months drug rehabilitation and ordered to pay a total of £420 compensation plus £80 victims’ surcharge by Blackpool magistrates.

Presiding magistrate, John Singleton, told her: “You committed crime to feed your drug habit.”

All Toth’s offences took place in Blackpool between January 8 and February 15 this year.

Alison Quanbrough, prosecuting, said in one incident Toth met a man and he invited her back to his address. The man went to the bathroom and shortly after Toth left. The man then discovered his bank card and a business cheque were missing.

Toth later made the cheque out to herself but was unable to cash it. She also repeatedly tried but failed to use the bank card.

The prosecutor said: “The victim had taken a photograph of Toth on his mobile phone previously. He sent the photograph to the police, who identified Toth from it.”

Toth also committed two burglaries, one at the Viking Hotel where she stole a TV, clothes, and cash from a guest’s bedroom and another at the New Ocean Hotel where she stole a receptionist’s handbag.

In addition she stole £211 worth of aftershave from Boots and also took goods on three other occasions from shops.

Howard Green, defending, told magistrates that Toth had been experimenting with drugs since the age of 14.