VIDEO: Game over for bungling burglar after Bognor arcade raid
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This bungling burglar thought he’d hit the jackpot when he raided a Bognor amusement arcade.
He even took the term ‘free cash withdrawals’ literally by forcing open an ATM.
But his luck ran out and it was game over after police caught him hiding behind a machine.
Officers responded to the scene at Neptunes Arcade, on Bognor Regis Pier, after an intruder alarm was activated around 4.49am on 29 August.
Upon arrival, they discovered the front doors had been forced open and there was smashed glass throughout the premises where numerous machines had been broken into.
They conducted a search and there was initially no trace of the suspect, until one of the officers heard the sound of coins coming from behind one of the machines.
There, they found a man who they immediately identified as 40-year-old Tristram Francis, who is a prolific offender in the local area.
He refused to come out and officers had to grab hold of him in order to detain him.
Francis, of Marshall Avenue, Bognor, was subsequently arrested and charged with burglary.
While on bail, he committed a further burglary at an office in Nile Street, Brighton, on 21 September, where he stole around £3,000 worth of electrical equipment including laptops, cameras and charging cables.
He was later identified through CCTV images, and again arrested and charged.
Francis pleaded guilty to both offences and was remanded in custody to appear before Crawley Magistrates’ Court on Monday 27 November, where he was sentenced to 14 months’ imprisonment, suspended for 18 months.
He was also required to take part in a drug rehabilitation program for the next 12 months.
Investigating officer, Caitlin O’Dwyer, said: “Despite his clear dependency on drug use, the actions of Francis on these two occasions were completely unacceptable. He caused thousands of pounds worth of damage to an arcade frequented by families, locals and tourists, and the business owners were faced with the massive inconvenience of getting that damage repaired.
“He also stole numerous electrical items from an office in Brighton, again causing a huge inconvenience to the victims.
“We hope this conviction enables Francis to receive the help he needs to get him back on the right path. He has been warned that if he commits any further offences within the next 18 months, he could face immediate imprisonment.”