A WIGAN man turned Del Boy with a burglary that netted sacks full of “Hookey Street” gear which he hoped to sell to fund his heroin habit.
Drug abuser Barry Maguire was hoping to profit from the large haul of counterfeit goods, stolen from a council Trading Standards warehouse.
But magistrates heard that he demonstrated a similar talent for bungling as the television hero after town hall central watch CCTV cameras directed a police patrol to the scene.
Officers with torches soon found the trail where Maguire and an unnamed accomplice had climbed over a fence to make repeated raids on the Frog Lane depot building.
They followed his footsteps left clearly marked in the virgin snowfall down the side of the adjacent railway and found him hiding under a bush.
A subsequent search of the locality - and his St Joseph’s Presbytery flat home in Caroline Street - revealed a haul of counterfeit Ugg boots, slippers, shawls and gloves.
Boxes of designer perfumes including Hugo Boss, Versace and Diesel were also found along with a range of American Ed Hardy T-shirts, Nike tracksuits plus Tiffany bracelets.
Meanwhile 49kg of Golden Virginia rolling tobacco had also gone from the depot although Maguire disputed that he had stolen it.
All were items seized by the council’s trading standards department in raids on suspected counterfeit goods rings across the borough.
Wigan and Leigh magistrates decided they did not have sufficient powers of sentence and Maguire was remanded in custody to appear at Liverpool Crown Court on February 21.
Maguire, 40, had a long criminal record stretching back over almost three decades including 49 convictions from 80 offences.
Prosecutor Richard Stone said that police had been alerted to the on-going burglary on January 26 after a council CCTV operator saw two figures dressed in black entering the building on the council’s former domestic tip site and then exiting carrying sacks and council holdalls with the town hall name emblazoned over them.
When an officer followed the footprints in the snow and found Maguire hiding under bushes he immediately recognised him from previous arrests.
Ged Frazer, defending, told the bench Maguire had been an amphetamine abuser but had beaten his dependency, only to slip into heroin use latterly which triggered the burglary. The building was insecure and the number of staff with keys ran into double figures.
He said: “This was a theft of Hookey Street goods - things which were ultimately going to be destroyed but with a genuine value unknown.”