A bungling serial thief was caught after police found his abandoned rucksack filled with his haul – and documentation featuring his name.
Ricky Marr was so out of it on valium he had no recollection of his crime spree in the early hours of January 1, which included theft from a house in which he was disturbed by the occupant and found to be raking through a bin with a knife stolen from the kitchen.
But when confronted with the extensive evidence against him, including the bag which was also covered in his DNA, the 41-year-old had no choice but to hold his hands up and admit his guilt.
Fiscal depute Felicity Merson told Aberdeen Sheriff Court Marr gained entry to a property on Craigielea Mews after a door had been left unlocked.
She said: “The owner of the house lives with his two young children.
“At around 4.30am on January 30 the householder was in bed when he heard noises from downstairs.
“He went to the kitchen where he saw the accused, who was not known to him, raking through his bin.
“When he challenged the accused he saw a knife in his hand.”
The knife was from a block in the kitchen.
Mrs Merson added: “The accused left with the knife and an iPad charger cable which had been in the kitchen.
“The handle of the knife was discovered months later under a nearby hedge, the blade having been broken off.”
The cable was not recovered.
In another incident on the same night Marr was captured on CCTV trying to break into a pensioner’s home on Craigton Road.
The fiscal depute said: “The 71-year-old occupant does not know the accused.
“Around 5am he was in bed when he heard a loud thud from the rear of the house.
“He didn’t investigate, but around 7.30am saw that his living room had been smashed and patio door was damaged with pieces of wood splintered off.”
Two stones were found outside which appeared to have been used to cause the damage, which was thought to be worth “several hundred pounds”.
Police were called and CCTV showing a figure trying to access the property at 5.02am.
A footprint from the front garden was later matched to trainers seized from Marr.
Marr also smashed his way into a locked vehicle parked on Craigielea Avenue during the spree and stole a radio, pump and rope, which were later recovered.
Mrs Merson said: “Police later retrieved a rucksack which had been abandoned nearby Mannofield Church. This was clearly the accused’s rucksack.
“It had his DNA on it and contained documentation with his name.
“The items stolen from the car were found within.
“Glass fragments found on the soles of the accused’s shoes were matched to the sample glass from the broken car window.”
And in yet another incident on the same night, Marr broke into a house on Countesswells Road while the owner was away.
The break-in was discovered the next day when someone came to check the property.
Mrs Merson said: “Around 2.30pm on January 31 the rear kitchen patio doors were discovered to have been smashed.
“Numerous muddy footprints were discovered on the kitchen floor.
“Eye creams, a digital camera and CD player were stolen from within. These were later found in and beside the same rucksack.”
Glass fragments found on Marr’s shoes were again linked to the broken doors, and footprints linked to his trainers.
The makeup was worth £640 and the electronics had originally been bought for around £4,000, but were some 17 years old.
The home owner had to pay a £200 excess on her insurance.
When traced by police, Marr claimed he had been asleep at his mother’s house at the time.
However, Mrs Merson said: “The accused had also been seen on Craigton Road at around 6.20am under the influence and behaving suspiciously.
“He tried to sell an item to someone on the street. That person doubted the item belonged to the accused.”
Marr, a prisoner of HMP Grampian, pled guilty to theft, theft by forcing open a locked vehicle, attempting to break into a house with intent to steal and theft by housebreaking.
Defence agent Peter Shepherd said: “The accused had taken valium.
“His recollection is basically nil.
“With the forensic evidence, the DNA and such like, he fully accepts it must have been him.
“Having been told the evidence, he held his hands up and apologises.”
Sheriff Philip Mann ordered Marr to be jailed for 27 months.
Following the hearing, Inspector Lisa Sim said: “Police Scotland welcomes the conviction and sentencing of Ricky Marr at Aberdeen Sheriff Court today for a series of thefts and housebreakings in the Aberdeen area in January 2020.
“Tackling acquisitive crime is a priority for police across the north-east and day-in day-out we target a large amount of resources to prevent such crimes from happening in the first place.
“Where incidents do occur, we will use all available means in order to identify those responsible and ensure they are brought before the courts.
“The public can also help in this effort and I’d like to take this opportunity to remind members of the public to review your home security and ensure all doors and windows are secured.
“If you do see or hear any suspicious activity around a property, please contact Police Scotland on 101, or 999 if it’s an emergency.”