A MAN caught in a parked car in the early hours of the morning told the police officer he was looking for his phone.

Blackburn magistrates heard the officer knocked up the car owner and established Thomas Lyndon Maher had no right to be in his vehicle.

And the following day two more residents of the same Clitheroe street discovered their vehicles had been entered and property stolen.

Maher, 20, of Canterbury Street, Blackburn, pleaded guilty to three charges of vehicle interference. He was made subject to a community order for 12 months with a six months drug rehabilitation requirement and ordered to pay £55 compensation.

Tracy Yates, prosecuting, said the patrolling officer noticed the interior light on in a parked car at 3.50 am. As he got close he saw a person crouching down in the front of the car and stopped to investigate.

Maher said he was looking for his phone but later admitted he had been dropped off in Clitheroe with the intention of stealing to pay off a drug debt.

Colleen Dickinson-Jones, defending, said her client didn't want to spend his time doing stupid things and getting in trouble.

"He has made inquiries at college about getting on a textiles course so hopefully he will have something to engage him and keep him occupied," she added.