TWO men who tried to steal used batteries from a council depot will each have to pay costs of over £1,000.
Jimmy Lee, 20, from Willenhall and Jerome Smith, 19, from Catherine-de-Barnes, both pleaded guilty to theft.
The pair visited the Chelmsley Wood maintenance depot in January, posing as workers from a collection company.
Because a collection was not planned, staff from Solihull Community Housing quickly smelt a rat.
A phone call to the genuine contractors soon proved that their suspicions were right and police were called to the scene.
The partners in crime had already loaded the batteries into their van, but staff managed to stall them until the officers arrived.
The box which the men had attempted to make off with contained £600 worth of used, acid batteries.
At Warwick Crown Court last Monday, Lee was ordered to do 120 hours of unpaid work and to pay costs of £1,105
Smith received a 12-month conditional discharge order and will have to stump up the same amount.
Matt Cooney, SCH’s chief executive, said: “We praise the quick actions of our stores staff in our maintenance service team who suspected that the men were trying to make off with the batteries. We will take a stand against those who use criminal activity for personal gain.”