A CARETAKER at a youth centre staged a fake break-in so he could steal computer games and a television.
Philip Thomas Dobson, 39, of Irving’s Crescent, Saltney was found guilty of burglary at Chester Magistrates Court yesterday (Wednesday).
The charge relates to the theft of a 42” flat-screen television, a Wii games console and four games worth more than £1,000 from the Delta Centre in Blacon on Friday, March 27.
The centre was locked up for the weekend at 5.30pm but records show that the alarm was turned off for 35 minutes between 6.18pm and 6.53pm that night.
Rear door sensors triggered the alarm at 8.43pm and a code was used to reset it two minutes later.
But an investigation showed that no force was used to break through the door and that bolts and padlocks holding a security bar in place had been cut off from the inside.
When police arrived at 11pm, they found Dobson, known as Sam, painting the wall next to the television mounting.
He claimed he had been driving past just before 9pm and seen the alarm lights on.
After entering the premises he said he saw that the television had been taken and that a cupboard had been ransacked.
But he later admitted taking four Wii games, which were found during a search of his home, along with a Wii console.
Prosecuting, Mairead Neeson said Dobson had tried to make it look as if he had disturbed a break-in.
She added: “This was an inside job. He only admitted taking the games after police found them at his ex partner’s home, a fact that he kept from members of staff at the Delta Centre.”
He had given the items to one of his children as a birthday gift saying he bought the console at the pub.
Witnesses during the trial included youth workers and members of staff at the centre who found hacksaws and bolt cutters – hidden behind a filing cabinet – in his store cupboard which could have been used to cut the bolts.
Defending, Ceri Evans said: “He was the one who called the police to report the theft and admitted taking the games.”
Magistrate Philip Pownall said there were ‘inconsistencies’ in Dobson’s story.
He ruled out a custodial sentence but warned Dobson to expect a high-level community penalty when he returns for sentencing on December 9.