Man hid behind machine after stealing spree at popular seaside amusement arcade

Police have released video of Tristram Francis on a stealing spree

A burglar was discovered hiding behind a game machine after going on a stealing spree at a amusement arcade.

Tristram Francis caused thousands of pounds of damage by smashing into several units.

The 40-year old, who police described as a ‘prolific offender’ even broke open a cash machine.

The destruction took place at Neptunes Arcade on Bognor Regis Pier in West Sussex at around 4am on August 29th, during the school holidays.

Officers had to grab hold of Francis, off Marshall Avenue in Bognor, after he refused to come out when he was caught.

While on bail after being charged he then burgled an office in Brighton where he stole £3,000 of electrical equipment including laptops and cameras.

Francis pleaded guilty to both offences was sentenced to 14 months’ imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, at Crawley Magistrates’ Court.

He was also required to take part in a drug rehabilitation program for the next 12 months.

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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."

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