A THIEF is spending the Christmas and early New Year period behind bars after making a bad choice trying to get into a parked car.

Two community support officers (PCSOs) were conducting routine inquiries in Consett town centre on the evening of Wednesday December 18, when a man wearing dark clothing was seen trying the handle of their unmarked police vehicle.

The suspect moved on and was then spotted attempting to gain access to a second car, parked nearby, and was immediately arrested by the pair of PCSOs

Thirty-four-year-old Damon Clark, of Severn Street, Chopwell, admitted two counts of vehicle interference and one of shoplifting when he made his first appearance before County Durham magistrates, who imposed a prompt nine-week prison sentence.