Aberdeen thief snared by DNA after stealing gold watch from disabled woman

© Chris SumnerMargaret Swanson was robbed of her personal belongings as she sat in another room of her house
Margaret Swanson was robbed of her personal belongings as she sat in another room of her house

A callous thief who targeted a disabled woman and made off with her gold watch was snared by her DNA on a rag.

Amanda Smith, also known as Amanda Breslin, crept into the sheltered housing complex home of Margaret Swanson, 63, and stole her personal belongings as she sat in another room.

As the crook left she put some fabric over the home’s front door peephole in an effort to cover her tracks if her victim looked out – but the rag proved to be the thief’s downfall.

Once Smith, 45, was arrested, police found her DNA on the fabric and she admitted the theft.

After Smith, of West North Street, Aberdeen, was sentenced to 200 hours of unpaid work, Mrs Swanson told the Evening Express her ordeal left her terrified.

“I used to leave my door open, but not anymore,” she said. “I was terrified by what happened.

“I’m just glad I didn’t walk into the other room during it,” added Mrs Swanson, who walks with the aid of a frame.

Aberdeen Sheriff Court heard how the theft happened on September 23, 2016.

Smith arrived at Mrs Swanson’s home at 1.45pm and swiped £20 left by the door to pay for a regular food delivery. The crook then went into the bedroom and stole a gold watch, a bus pass, two bank cards and a piece of paper on which PIN numbers were written.

Sheriff Sukhwinder Gill was told Smith used the cards to withdraw £150 from Gordon Torq service station on Great Northern Road – and was caught on CCTV.

Smith originally denied the offences – but admitted theft and removing cash from a cash machine once her DNA was found on the fabric.

Mrs Swanson, who moved into the complex in October 2015 due to failing health, said: “It’s a shame she wasn’t jailed but I just hope she learns from it. I never got the watch back.”