A Leighton Buzzard man pleaded guilty to stealing £14,340 from his mother’s bank account when he appeared before magistrates last week.
Robert Pullen, 46, told police officers he was “useless with money” after he was arrested in July 2016.
Luton Magistrates Court heard that Pullen, of Theshers Court, Meadow Way, had spotted his mum using her card at an ATM machine and had memorised the PIN number.
On each occasion, Pullen would sneak into his mum’s home in the early hours of the morning to take the card and withdraw cash from ATM machines – always outside Morrisons supermarket – before replacing it in the morning.
At the court hearing on Thursday, the Crown Prosecution Service explained the thefts eventually came to light after Pullen’s sister began noticing large transactions being withdrawn from their mum’s account every week.
After making enquiries with the bank, it emerged that over the period between November 2014 and July 2016 there had been 64 withdrawals of cash from their mother’s bank account.
£500 a week was being withdrawn on average and transactions always occurred between 3am and 6am.
The prosecution stated: “Her mum confirmed these weren’t her transactions and she wasn’t even aware of the money coming out.
“The daughter then contacted her two brothers and got a message from the defendent saying it had been he who had been responsible for the withdrawals.
“What he had been doing was going to his mother’s address in the early hours of the morning and helping himself to the card.”
During his interview, Pullen explained he had ran out of money and spent it on cat food and petrol.
The thefts had then allegedly “snowballed” from a one-off and Pullen told officers he had debt problems.
The prosecution added: “He intended to repay it but it had never happened.
“He was hoping to admit what he had done but in his own words, he had ‘bottled’
“He was ‘gutted’ and ‘ashamed’ of himself. It had cost him his family, his liberty and his job.”
Pullen’s defence stated he had observed his mother using the card and so knew the four-digit number.
He returned to his mother’s overnight and took the card without her knowledge.
He had reportedly started his police interview by saying he was “terrible with money”.
Pullen will be sentenced at Luton Crown Court on October 7.