A STOLEN Land Rover was recovered the day after it was taken after police found it parked around 30 miles away.
Leslie Driscoll-Jones, 28, of Church Road, Wordsley, Stourbridge pleaded guilty to handling stolen goods on September 2, 2015.
Owen Beale, prosecuting at Herefordshire Magistrates Court last week, said a Land Rover Defender belonging to Stephen Farrer was stolen from outside his address near Bromyard on September 1 after 9pm.
Mr Farrer discovered the theft the following morning and called the the police.
In Spring Close in Kinver on the same day at 6pm, an officer discovered the vehicle and called for back-up.
As the officer was waiting two cars arrived and the registration plates were replaced on the Land Rover.
Police then followed the three vehicles to an industrial estate in Brierley Hill and three men were arrested, including Driscoll-Jones.
The court heard that Driscoll-Jones has been approached by two other men and asked if he wanted to take part in the offence.
Driscoll-Jones agreed to buy the roof rack and the part which the spare tyre attaches to, and then sell it on for a profit.
He was convicted for production of cannabis in March of this year.
Regan Peggs, defending, said: "My client's part in this was minimal. He had known one of these gentlemen for a few days, the other slightly longer.
"He was finding things a bit tight financially at the time. This was known to them and they suggested it to him."
He said the fact that Driscoll-Jones drove his own car while handling the stolen goods shows how unsophisticated his part in this offence was.
Mr Peggs said when police searched his home address they found a small number of cannabis seedlings in yoghurt pots. He added: "They were not going to get any bigger. He hadn't a clue how to grow a tomato plant, let alone cannabis plants."
The court heard Driscoll-Jones works and supports his partner and three children. He is now working overtime and not struggling financially as much.
He was given a 12 month community order and five rehabilitation activity requirement days and ordered to do 40 hours of unpaid work. He was ordered to pay court costs of £185 and a victim surcharge of £60.
Two other men pleaded not guilty to handling stolen goods and their case will go to trial in January.