While online gambling and free bets are becoming more and more popular in the UK, the traditional bookies seen on high streets around the UK are still doing brisk business. Because of the amount of money stored in such premises, they are often targeted by thieves.
One such company to fall into this category recently was Chisholm Bookmakers, Hartlepool Today reports.
An employee at the firm who was struggling to pay off debts he had amassed devised and carried out a plan which involved taking over £3,000 from a safe.
Michael Heath had been working at bookies in Mulberry Rise for two years before he committed the crime.
The 20-year-old went to the shop in the early hours of the morning and used his own personal code to deactivate the alarm system located on the safe before making off with the cash.
Following this, he dumped the clothes he had been wearing while he perpetrated the act and took the money back to his house.
It was here that police discovered the loot and Mr Heath admitted the theft when confronted with the evidence.
The authorities had been alerted when store manager Martin Cook opened the shop the next day to find the alarm off and money missing.
Prosecutor Alan Davison said: “It later transpired that £3,240 recovered by police from [Mr Heath's] home during a search was money from the safe.”
He added that the accused “honestly and graphically” gave admissions in police interviews.
Meanwhile, David Dedman, mitigating, remarked: “This is a man of completely good character who is from a good family. The offence came completely out of the blue.”
Consumers who do not wish to travel to their nearest bookies to indulge in a flutter often head online for free bets. This can be a convenient and cheap alterative.