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Inverness shop break-in captured on camera

By Gregor White

Inverness Sheriff Court.
Inverness Sheriff Court.

A THIEF’S drunken break-in to his neighbourhood shop was filmed on CCTV, enabling police to arrest him shortly afterwards.

Although he was wearing a hoodie at the time 25-year-old Steven Burns’s face could still be seen as he raided the store in the Woodside Village in Inverness’s Westhill on March 19 last year.

Sheriff Margaret Neilson watched the footage at Inverness Sheriff Court and saw Burns making an attempt to smash the glass doors of the shop with stones.

The video then showed him grabbing pieces of wood in an effort to make the holes created bigger, after his attempts to kick the door in failed.

After a few minutes, he was able to climb through the shards left on the door, snagging his leg as he did so, before falling on to the glass-covered shop floor.

Burns was then filmed grabbing three bottles of Buckfast and smashing open cash tills before stealing a bottle of champagne and leaving, with the store alarm still ringing.

Fiscal depute Michelle Molley said police officers were quickly on the scene and identified the thief.

Burns was arrested at his home in Woodside Village, a short distance away.

Officers recovered bloodstained bank notes and the unopened bottles of alcohol from him.

Burns, who faces a preliminary High Court hearing in relation to another matter on April 12, admitted theft of £232 of money and the other items by housebreaking.

Ms Molley told the court that the cost of repairing the damage done to the shop was £1162.

Defence solicitor Brent Lockie said police located Burns before he had the chance to drink the stolen booze.

“He got himself very drunk and ran out of alcohol, so he returned to his old ways after staying out of trouble for around a year,” he said.

“It was obvious to the police who had done it,” he added.

Burns was jailed for a year.

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