Burglar hid in pub toilets to steal booze after hours - then claimed he had been accidentally locked in when police arrived

A pub raider hid in toilets to steal bottles of spirits after hours – only to claim he had been locked in after setting off the alarms.

By Fiona Thompson
Sunday, 10th May 2020, 11:43 am
Updated Sunday, 10th May 2020, 7:37 pm

He ran upstairs into a private part of the premises while staff were distracted and locked himself in a toilet.

Once the pub had shut, he helped himself to £200 worth of spirits behind the bar.

David Kelly was found inside the Ben Lomond in Grange Road, Jarrow, after he set off the alarms. Images Northumbria Police/Google Maps.

But Kelly set off the pub’s alarm – and then tried to convince police that he had been accidentally “locked in”.

However, inquiries found he had opened the till when staff had left – only to find no money had been left inside.

Kelly, of Northbourne Road, Jarrow, denied burglary but was found guilty by magistrates in his absence earlier this year.

He admitted separate charges of burglary, fraud and theft and has now been jailed for three years and two months at Newcastle Crown Court.

David Kelly has been jailed for a number of offences, including the burglary of the Ben Lomond pub in Jarrow.

Detective Constable Neil Swainston, of Northumbria Police, said: “David Kelly has been a drain on police resources for a considerable time with a significant number of theft and burglary convictions in recent years.

“He quite clearly cannot be trusted to live lawfully in our community and now will spend a considerable time behind bars where he can hopefully reflect on his actions.

“A team of dedicated burglar hunters come in every single day to tackle this type of criminality, and it’s essential that the public see individuals like Kelly – who shows a total disregard for others – are rightly being brought to justice.

“We will not apologise for our zero-tolerance approach towards burglars and thieves – and our message is straightforward. If you commit these types of offences, we will pursue you, we will catch you and you will face prison.”

Kelly admitted burgling a home in Jarrow in May 2019 where he stole various items, before trying to use a stolen bank card to buy vodka from a supermarket.

In January, he stole £650 worth of cosmetics from Superdrug in South Shields before he was detained by on-patrol officers outside.

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