A' CAREER' criminal' who has more than 170 offences has been blasted by police officers after going back to court.

Blackburn magistrates heard Bernard Philip Rawstron had smashed the window of a parked car in Stonyhurst Road, Blackburn, before running off with a satellite navigation system.

Rawstron, 44, pleaded guilty to the theft of a Garmin sat nav, which belonged to Andrew Cookson.

Catherine Allan, prosecuting, said a witness saw a man wearing dark clothing smash the window of a car and then run off.

Police arrested Rawstron nearby and the sat nav was found close to where he was arrested.

Miss Allan said Rawstron had 178 offences on his record and many of them were thefts from motor vehicles.

Mark Williams, defending, said his client accepted he had an appalling record for offences of a similar type.

He said: “On its own the offence is not serious but viewed against his record it is more significant.”

He said Rawstron had got himself into debt and the creditor had come round and kicked his door in before threatening him.

“He went out looking for a way to pay the debt.” said Mr Williams.

Rawstron, of Leach Street, Blackburn, was made subject to an electronically monitored curfew between 7pm and 7am for 12 weeks and ordered to pay £150 compensation.

As a result of several car break-ins towards the end of 2018, Blackburn Neighbourhood Team officers have been deployed to patrol the streets in plain clothes in a bid to catch those responsible.

Speaking after the case, sergeant Craig Jarrett said: "Bernard Rawstron is a career criminal and has committed offences of stealing from motor vehicles for many years.

"He has a complete disregard for the law and will continue to commit crime at every opportunity.

"Time and time again vital police resources are directed towards this individual when he is at liberty, to combat the rising increase in vehicle thefts in and around the Blackburn area."