A PROLIFIC Oldbury thief escaped from jewellery shops with expensive rings and necklaces by swapping them for fakes, a court heard.

Jasbinder Bhaker targeted small independently run jewellers and committed the third theft the day after he was given a suspended prison sentence for a similar offence.

Paul Reid, prosecuting, said Bhaker stole £12,000 worth of gold bangles from a West Bromwich shop after asking to see a gold pendant.

The 33-year-old then went into a shop in Walsall where he swapped a £1,400 necklace for one that was fake while in a second shop in the town he got away with a £500 ring leaving behind one that was worthless.

Bhaker, of Stanley Road, was rumbled when CCTV was checked in all the shops he attacked.

He admitted three charges of theft and was jailed for 15 months by Judge John Wait at Wolverhampton Crown Court, who ruled he must also serve the three months from the earlier sentence, to run consecutively.

Jas Mann, defending, said Bhaker had turned to crime to fuel his drug addiction but was now taking steps to put his life back on the rails.