The incident happened under the noses of officers who had left them in an unlocked patrol car as they made inquiries at a bar in Johnstone, Renfrewshire, on December 30 last year.
Paisley Sheriff Court heard yesterday how Andrew Stewart, 34, opened the driver's door and sat inside before opening the boot and helping himself to high-visibility jackets, police hats, kit bags and other items. Two women saw him and went into the bar to let the officers know. Stewart, of Kilbarchan, had by then walked away, but when officers caught up with him he said: "You got me, it was a laugh, there was a packet of Pringles too."
After being summoned to appear in person to explain his conduct after an earlier guilty plea, Stewart said that he had been on heavy painkillers due to a wrist injury. He had been drinking alcohol against medical advice and his recollection of the crime was "hazy".
Sentencing was deferred until January.