Oban residents help catch suspicious man

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Sharp-eyed residents helped raise the alarm about a man acting suspiciously in Oban, the sheriff court has heard.

Stephen McLaughlan, aged 29, was spotted inside the secured yard of Howdens Joinery Company in Quarry Road, Oban, at 9.15pm on June 22 this year.

A passing motorist saw him, as did a nearby resident who was alerted by an alarm going off, the court was told on Wednesday November 4.

David Glancy, Procurator Fiscal, said residents saw the accused standing behind a vehicle parked by a wall and then move towards the front of the building in an effort to gain entry.

He then scaled a wall and got into the grounds of Oban Mountain Rescue, said Mr Glancy.

Police were called and the accused was found nearby but told officers: ‘It didn’t happen’, the court heard.

Appearing before the sheriff, McLaughlan, of Flat B, 6 Corran Brae, Oban, pleaded guilty to a charge of attempting to break into the warehouse occupied by Howdens with intent to steal.

He also admitted being found in a vehicle at Jane Road, Dunbeg on April 11 without lawful authority to be there so that, in all the circumstances, it may be reasonably inferred that he intended to commit theft.

No mitigation was offered and Sheriff Patrick Hughes told McLaughlan the incidents were ‘serious matters’.

Sentence was deferred until December 2 for reports.