Man helped organise ‘sophisticated’ theft from supermarket

A 28-YEAR-OLD man helped coordinate a ‘sophisticated’ theft from an Eastbourne supermarket, a court heard.

Alan Gale, who is currently imprisoned on the Isle of Wight, and another man conspired to steal £846 from Tesco on July 13, 2010.

The court heard that Gale drove his friend to the supermarket at 2pm and helped him clamber into the roofing of the store in the baby-changing area of the toilets.

Once there his friend skimmed off wads of cash from a network of tubes which carry money to a safe.

Dan Harrison, defending, said, “He was not the main instigator, but he accepts he was involved.”

Forensic tests revealed Gale’s fingerprints on the baby-changing wall and footage from security cameras show him by the toilets.

Gale’s Mercedes was also caught on close circuit television, driving into the supermarket carpark and leaving at 10pm.

Gale claims he was reluctant to take part and he did not see any of the money.

He pleaded guilty to burglary at Eastbourne Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday (April 19).

Presiding magistrate David Wallis said, “It was a planned and sophisticated burglary.”

Gale was put on a 20-month suspended prison sentence for producing class B drugs which was activated on January 12 when he was convicted of a similar theft at Tesco in Three Bridges.

He helped steal £1,000 from the supermarket with the same conspirator.

The total £1,846 has not been repaid to Tesco.

Magistrates sentenced him to 16 weeks in prison. It will run side by side with his current prison sentence and will not extend the amount of time he spends in custody.

Magistrates said driving had played a part in previous convictions and decided to disqualify him for 12 months.