A MAN who tried to steal a £200 jacket was thwarted when staff activated the automatic door lock.

Blackburn magistrates heard in his frantic efforts to escape from Outdoor Action, Peter Wheeler smashed two glass door panels causing £600 worth of damage.

Wheeler, 27, of Cranbrook Street, Blackburn, pleaded guilty to criminal damage and theft of a North Face jacket.

He was made subject to a community order for six months, excluded from Outdoor Action for the same period and ordered to pay £600 compensation.

Tracy Yates, prosecuting, said staff saw Wheeler select the jacket and he was about to leave without making any effort to pay.

"They remotely locked the front door and he then violently pulled at the handle," said Mrs Yates.

"Two door panels smashed and he continued to try to escape until the police arrived."

Gareth Price, defending, said Wheeler committed the offence to try and help his girlfriend. He said she had acquired a drug debt and was being pressured to pay it.

"He asked what he could do to sort things out and was told to steal this jacket," said Mr Price.