A HOMELESS man who stole from shops and cars has been jailed for almost a year.

Anthony Ryan, 25, targeted high street names like Greggs, Tesco and Co-op and stole bikes from outside Swindon homes during his seven month spree.

Sending him to prison for 46 weeks, chairman of the Swindon Magistrates’ Court bench Linda Raine said: “We do feel the custody threshold has been passed and definitely for the bladed article, which we’ve heard is a minimum six month sentence.”

Prosecutor Kate Prince told the court that Ryan stole doughnuts from Greggs, perfume from Savers and £2 worth of flapjacks from Kingshill service station in February and March of this year.

In April, he took £150-worth of alcohol and cleaning products from a Swindon Co-op and stole alcohol and cheesecake worth almost £30 from a Tesco store in Calne.

Last October, he was seen with his brother Timothy Ryan stealing a £179 bike from outside a house. The bicycle was later recovered.

Two months later, on December 14, he lifted a £2,500 bike. It was several days before the bike was found and returned to its owner.

In December and January he broke into a number of cars. From one, he stole a bag containing bank cards, a passport and safe key – using the cards to go on a £255 spree.

On January 3, police caught him in Chickerell Road, Park North, in possession of a Stanley knife. He was arrested after reports of someone trying car door handles.

Ms Prince said Ryan was arrested for an unrelated matter on March 26. When he was searched at the police station, a wrap of heroin fell from his pocket. He confirmed it was the class A drug.

The court heard Ryan had a conviction from 2012, when he was just 16 years old, for possession of an offensive weapon.

Mitigating, Mark Glendenning said his client had been street homeless for a number of years but was now being put up at a B&B on Sheppard Street. Ryan now claimed to be receiving a prescription for a class A drug substitute. He had pleaded guilty at the first opportunity.

Michelle James, for the probation service, said Ryan had failed to comply with an instruction to speak to a probation officer responsible for preparing a pre-sentence report. She questioned the veracity of his claims about being on a “script” to tackle his illegal drug use.

Ryan, of Sheppard Street, admitted theft, possession of a blade, possession of heroin, vehicle interference and fraud.

He must pay £103.67 compensation to the man whose bank cards he stole and a £52.33 victim surcharge.