Cash thief was caught out by CCTV system

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AN EASTBOURNE hairdresser stole more than £1,000 in cash from his friend’s home because he was struggling with debt.

Twenty-two-year-old Steven Vine, of Grovelands Road, Hailsham, appeared at Eastbourne Magistrates Court on Tuesday (February 8) and pleaded guilty to committing burglary at a Polegate home in January.

The hairdresser, who worked at Ministry of Hair, had been invited to a friends house in Bay Tree Lane on a number of occasions and had taken the cash from a study after saying he needed to go to the toilet.

The court heard the money was stolen from Ms Morrison while Vine was invited round to the house by her brother.

Ms Morrison runs a café and she realised cash was going missing from her home.

The family became suspicious and installed a CCTV system where they saw Vine take envelopes from a desk in the house while on his way to the bathroom.

They then reported their findings to the police and Vine was arrested.

During his police interview a remorseful Vine admitted stealing a total of £1,150 from the home and became emotional.

Sarah Clarke, defending, told magistrates Vine had no previous convictions and added, “He is remorseful and felt utterly disgraced at the police station. He is devastated at what has happened.”

Miss Clarke explained the defendant’s parents had been away in Barbados but were due back shortly after he spent the night in custody following his arrest.

She said, “It took him five days to tell his parents.

“His mother sits in the back of court today and while she does not condone his behaviour she is being supportive.”

Miss Clarke also told magistrates Vine had experienced a cut in his wages and had been struggling to make ends meet.

She said he had also been trying to keep up with a ‘quite extravagant social life’ being enjoyed by his more wealthy friends.

The court heard Vine had managed to raise £700 to give back to his victim.

Magistrates ordered Vine to carry out 100 hours unpaid work during the next 12 months.

He must also pay £1,150 in compensation and £85 in court costs.