A VALE man entered an unlocked motor vehicle in an Alexandria street and stole items worth more than £500 from inside.

Darren Stewart nicked a laptop, clothes, a purse and its contents, and a quantity of papers from the insecure vehicle while it was parked in Muir Street on June 23.

Stewart, 35, of McColl Avenue in Tullichewan, appeared from custody at Dumbarton Sheriff Court on Friday for sentencing, having pleading guilty at an earlier hearing to a charge of theft.

Stewart had been released on bail on a separate matter from the same court exactly a month before the offence, and was still on bail when he committed the theft.

On being asked by Sheriff William Gallacher whether the theft was “opportunistic”, procurator fiscal depute Meghan Glancey said the vehicle’s owner had indicated that it had been left unlocked at the time of the theft, and had not been damaged as a result.

Ms Glancey said the stolen items had a total value of approximately £505.

Stewart’s solicitor, Judith Reid, said her client had a “changed attitude” since the incident, and suggested he might be suitable for a drug treatment and testing order (DTTO) as a punishment.

Ms Reid told the court: “He faces a straightforward custodial sentence today, but there is an alternative open to the court for a more rigorous order in the form of a DTTO.”

Sheriff Gallacher told Stewart: “I’m not convinced you have the wherewithal to comply with an order and stop causing harm in the community - but I will think about it.

“A DTTO is not an easy option. It’s not something people can do without a great deal of effort.”

Deferring sentence for a DTTO assessment to be carried out, the sheriff added: “For sure, if you don’t turn up for the assessment, the order can’t be made - but if you do, the court will at least think about it.”

At Ms Reid’s suggestion, Sheriff Gallacher released Stewart on bail with a special condition making him the subject of a 7pm to 7am curfew.

Stewart will return to court for sentencing on September 13.