A THIEF travelled from Midlothian in the early hours of the morning planning to steal tyres at a West Fife garage.

Andrew Alexander, who has a criminal past, was caught red-handed by police. He had removed one tyre from a car but was thwarted in stealing others by locking nuts.

Alexander, 44, of Sherwood Crescent, Bonnyrigg, was back in West Fife when he appeared in the dock at Dunfermline Sheriff Court.

He admitted that on October 18, at Specialist Cars (VW), Crossgates Road, Halbeath, he stole a wheel, tyre and wing nuts from a car.

Depute fiscal Azrah Yousaf said that, at 1am, police were driving past the premises when they saw somebody in the forecourt.

They were suspicious because of a crime committed there the night before.

The officers found a Volkswagen Golf jacked up with a wheel missing. There were four concrete blocks lying next to the car and it was suspected that they were to be put under the car as the wheels were removed.

Locking nuts had prevented the other wheels being removed.

The court was told Alexander’s position was he made “a stupid decision” because of financial difficulties.

Sheriff Alastair Brown pointed out Alexander had “a bad record”. He called for reports and Alexander will be sentenced on March 11.