A CROOK cut through fencing at a recycling centre to steal hundreds of pounds worth of metal.

Kyle Davies was part of a gang of people targeting the Linford Civic Amenity Site over the course of two months.

The 18-year-old, formerly of Tate Close, Basildon, and the rest of the gang would jump over the protective fencing of the site and throw metal over, or cut their way through the fence to steal the goods.

Davies also stole two motorbikes from a garage in Langdon Hills worth thousand of pounds.

He was handed a jail spell as the court was concerned he would become homeless if he received a suspended sentence.

Mitigating, Nick Bonehill said: “There were a number of issues to find himself in this position after a significant period of difficult in his younger life being in and out of car.

“He found himself at a halfway house. He found himself out of that property living in a vehicle for a period of time.”

The court heard if Davies were given a suspended sentence he would have nowhere to go.

Recorder William Clegg QC gave Davies nine months in prison at Basildon Crown Court on Friday.

The first theft took place on August 9 last year where £130 of metal was stolen.

On August 27, Davies and three others were caught on CCTV surveying the site before one jumped the fence, and passed £100 worth of metal to the others.

The third theft, on September 2, saw the group forcing open a gap in the fence and stealing £450 worth of metal and car batteries. The following day, they stole £1,100 worth of metal.

On September 4, the group returned intending to steal more, however, staff at the centre, who had seen the previous thefts on CCTV, had filled two containers full of mud in front of the containers of metal, meaning they could not be accessed, and the group left.

On October 17, Davies and two others returned and stole £70 of metal, but he was then arrested at his home address in Basildon two days later.

He was also arrested for stealing the two motorbikes from a garage in Langdon Hills on October 14, which were worth £2,700 and £2,500.