A SERIAL thief has been given a curfew order after he was convicted for repeatedly stealing from cars in Tillicoultry.

Martin Dowds went on a crime spree on November 27 last year, entering six unsecured cars and nabbing items from them – including a diamond ring and a portable DVD player.

The 34-year-old was also found in the grounds of one property with the intention to commit theft on the same date.

And he went on to steal from a shop in Alloa three months later on February 11, 2019.

His solicitor Kelly Howe said the offences were brought on by a relapse into drug misuse, sparked by the loss of a close family member.

Sheriff David Mackie warned Dowds his previous convictions put him at risk of going to prison.

But the contents of a background report were said to have persuaded him that the repeat offender had been taking steps to get on the straight and narrow.

He said: "I hardly need to say to you that with your record, the seriousness of these offences would justify a custodial sentence.

"You must be in no doubt that's where you stand.

"Having said that, it would be wrong for me not to recognise this was truly an aberration, and you should be given credit [for the progress made] in the last year to address the issues that bring you to court."

He than placed Dowds, of Stalker Avenue, Tillicoultry, on a curfew for the next six months.

During that period, he will be fitted with an electronic tag and confined to his home between 8pm and 5am.