A taxi driver in Scunthorpe had his vehicle stolen by a passenger that had previously dodged paying a fare.
Once realising who the man was, the cab driver drove to the nearest police station to report him.
But the taxi driver made the mistake of leaving the man alone in the car with the engine running while he went into the police station.
When he returned, the fare dodger had driven off in the taxi. He was later tracked down by the police and arrested.
As reported by the Grimsby Live, Gejza Gozo, 32, of Scunthorpe, admitted taking a car without consent, making off without payment, drink-driving and having no insurance and licence on April 5.
The court heard that when Gozo got into the vehicle, the taxi driver recognised him as the person who had previously dodged a fare for an earlier journey which took place a few months before.
Instead of taking him to his requested location, he drove directly to Scunthorpe police station, telling the man that he had something he quickly needed to do.
Martin Howarth, prosecuting, said: "Quite surprisingly, considering it was a matter of dishonesty that was involved before, he left his keys in the car and the engine running.
"While he was reporting the making off without payment, the defendant took it upon himself to drive the taxi away."
The court heard that once tracked down, the police could smell alcohol on Gozo's breath. He was arrested and a breath test revealed he 92mcg of alcohol in 100ml of breath. 57mcg over the legal limit.
Steven Freestone, mitigating at Grimsby Magistrates Court, told the court that Gozo taking the taxi was not pre-planned and was a "spur-of-the-moment" act.
He said: "No damage was caused to the vehicle and it wasn't driven excessive distances".
Gozo was given 100 hours' unpaid work, three days' rehabilitation and was banned from driving for two years. He was ordered to pay £30 compensation, £85 costs and a Government-imposed £85 victims' surcharge.
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