A criminal who decided to lie low in a skip at a rubbish dump was thwarted when sensors on a police helicopter detected him.
Gareth Heaton’s location was given away by his body heat, which was picked up by the hovering aircraft during a police search.
Officers removed bags of rubbish to find Heaton buried beneath them.
Heaton, 45, of Alpine Close, Lostock Hall, Preston, pleaded guilty to theft of two football medals and two computer circuit boards belonging to Lancashire Waste Services, as well as a charge of going equipped for theft.
He was bailed for pre sentence reports and will be sentenced at a later date by Blackpool Magistrates Court.
Prosecutor, Martine Connah, said on September 25 at 11.10pm police received a report of a man inside the waste compound at the Saltcotes Road tip in Lytham.
Officers who shone torches into the compound saw a man duck behind a skip.
Police climbed over the fence and tried to find him, but he had gone to ground.
It took the force helicopter flying above the tip to locate Heaton deep in a skip under bags of rubbish.
Peter Manning, defending, said Heaton’s computer had broken and he went to the tip to see if he could find any parts people had discarded there, to mend it.
Heaton had gone out at night because he suffered from a fear of going to sleep.
His sleep phobia had emerged after the death of his baby daughter 17 years ago.
He believed the hospital where she was a patient had not dealt with her treatment properly.