Theft spree targeted farm honesty boxes

in Crime

Two teenagers who went on a theft and vandalism spree netted themselves almost £100, a court has been told.

Vince Alan Michael Burgess, aged 17, of Bowring Road in Ramsey, and Niall William Martin, aged 18, of Coronation Court, also in Ramsey, visited farms around the north and west of the island systematically smashing honesty boxes and looting them for their contents.

Prosecutor James Robinson told the court the pair took £24 from a farm on Patrick Road near Peel, £40 from another and £28 from a third, all on the same night of October 25 last year.

Both youths admitted three charges of theft.

Mr Robinson said the pair were cruising round the island in the small hours in Martin’s car, visiting farm shops on Patrick Road, St Jude’s Road and Andreas Road.

Martin used a hammer to smash the locks off honesty boxes. Both were clearly visible on CCTV footage. In addition to the money taken, he said one broken lock cost £62 to replace.

’Each time, Burgess acted as the look-out while Martin used the hammer to open the boxes,’ Mr Robinson said, adding they were ’mean thefts’.

The following day, he said Martin was interviewed at Ramsey police station where he told police he was ’not thinking properly’.

’I just wanted to do something stupid,’ he said.

Stephen Wood, representing Martin, said his client had already offered reimbursement, but he said he had not appreciated the cost of the damage done to the boxes and locks.

The case was adjourned for preparation of pre-sentence reports. Both were bailed to their home addresses. In the meantime, they must co-operate with making the report. They will reappear before the court on March 23 to be sentenced.