A THIEF who went into cricket club changing rooms and stole mobile phones belonging to players has been jailed for 12 weeks.

Blackburn magistrates heard how players, one of them an off-duty police officer, activated the tracking app on one of the phones so the players could follow him across nearby fields from Church Cricket Club.

When he dumped the phones and hid, a police dog took over the tracking duties and found Samuel Stanley hiding in bushes.

Stanley, 29, pleaded guilty to stealing six mobile phones worth £3,050.

The magistrates imposed an immediate prison sentence after hearing just five days earlier he had been made subject to a community order for offences of burglary.

Catherine Allan, prosecuting, said rain stopped play in the match between Church and Haslingden and, as the players returned to the changing rooms, they saw a male running away.

The tracking application was activated and several players, who had discovered their phones were missing, gave chase.

Jonathan Taylor, defending, said Stanley had initially come to East Lancashire with a friend to meet up with some girls.

He said: “They became separated and arranged to meet up near to the cricket ground.

“He ended up inside the ground and very foolishly let temptation get the better of him.”

Mr Taylor said after he was apprehended Stanley, of Ferrers Road, Doncaster, took the police and players to where he had hidden the phones.