A teenager from Leeds sold off items from his flat – then told police he had been burgled.
But the dim-witted 17-year-old was exposed as a liar when officers noticed he had damaged the door to his flat from the inside.
The youth, who cannot be named for legal reasons, flogged a fridge, cooker, washing machine, tumble dryer and book case to a second-hand shop near to the supported housing property in Dewsbury Road, Beeston.
He then contacted the police claiming he had come home to find the door to his flat had been kicked in and the items had been stolen.
Officers became suspicious when they noticed the door had been wrecked from inside the flat.
They then visited the second-hand shop and established that the youth had sold the items for a total of £110.
The bungling youngster had given his correct details each time and had his photograph taken as part of the shop’s security procedures.
He was arrested and subsequently charged with theft and making a false report.
The items were recovered and returned to the project which provides accommodation and support for homeless young people.
He appeared at Leeds Youth Court, where he admitted the offences along with a separate malicious communications charge and was locked up for 16 months.
Acting Detective Inspector James Entwistle, of Leeds neighbourhood crime team, said: “We treat all reports of burglary very seriously and fully investigate the circumstances in an effort to catch those responsible. Our enquiries will generally show when the things people are telling us don’t add up and people do need to realise that.
“False reports like this waste valuable police time that could be better spent dealing with real incidents and investigating genuine crimes. I hope this case and the significant sentence he has received will serve as a warning to others of the consequences they can face.”