In an ill-fated burglary attempt, a clumsy thief targeted a Bognor amusement arcade, ambitiously breaking into an ATM. Unfortunately for him, his escapade ended abruptly when police discovered him concealed behind a machine at Neptunes Arcade on Bognor Regis Pier. The alarm was triggered around 4.49am on August 29, leading officers to a scene of forced entry and damaged property.
Initially elusive, the burglar was betrayed by the sound of coins, leading to his discovery and identification as Tristram Francis, a known 40-year-old local offender. Despite his resistance, he was apprehended and charged with burglary.
While out on bail, Francis committed another burglary in Brighton, stealing valuable electronics. Caught again through CCTV, he faced charges for both crimes.
He admitted his guilt and was sentenced to 14 months in prison, suspended for 18 months, with a mandatory drug rehabilitation program.
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.”