A homeless man who swiped £3,000 of gold engagement rings from a Worksop jewellers sold the lot in Skegness, a court heard.
Jake O’Brian told a shop assistant in Marshall’s Jewellers, on Ryton Street, that he wanted to buy an engagement ring for his girlfriend, on the afternoon of June 9.
Prosecutor Robert Carr said: “He tried on various rings and bracelets. She brought a tray with 13 18 carat gold rings and she allowed him to try some of the rings on.
“She was distracted by a phone call and let go of the tray. Mr O’Brian picked it up and ran out of the store.”
The court heard O’Brian was arrested after damaging his brother’s back door, on Maid Marion Way, Ollerton, on June 25, when he turned up looking for somewhere to stay and a row broke out.
In police interview, he admitted stealing the rings and told officers he sold them in Skegness for £2,000 and spent all the money in about four days.
He was given a ten month sentence for affray in 2016, the court heard.
O’Brian, 21, now of Commercial Gate, Mansfield, admitted theft and criminal damage when he appeared at Mansfield Magistrates Court, on Thursday.
Louise Trehearne, mitigating, said he was a “young man with quite a high level of vulnerability” who has been diagnosed with dyslexia, dyspraxia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism.
“He has acted in an opportunistic way when he had nothing to eat and nowhere to live,” she said.
“When people aren’t treated appropriately at the right age they often end up in the criminal justice system.
“He is only here because of the lack of resources for homeless people.”
Probation officer Greta Percival said the last time he had been prescribed any medicine was when he was in prison.
O’Brian was given a 12 month community order with 15 days of a rehabilitation activity.
He must also pay £3,000 compensation for the theft and £50 towards the cost of the damaged door.