CCTV,Bristol, England.A police officer who was meant to stop Bristol shop-lifters stole two computer games and ruined his career.
Peter Cokell was permanently stationed at The Mall, Cribbs Causeway, and had an unblemished record as a PC, yet he was caught on CCTV in HMV committing the crime he had spent six years trying to stamp out.
The 34-year-old, from Wick, South Gloucestershire, was found guilty of theft by District Judge David Parsons after a three-day trial.
Cokell picked PlayStation 3 games Call of Duty: World at War and Kill Zone 2 and hid them under his kevlar body armour before smuggling them out of the store on April 7.
At about 8.40pm that night, 20 minutes before the store was due to close, HMV's loss prevention officer at the time, Gary Sutton, noticed the officer browsing. As he had known Cokell professionally for several years, he recognised him straight away.
But he appeared to be acting "suspiciously", looking up at a dome CCTV camera, so Mr Sutton continued to monitor him.
The footage, shown at Frome Magistrates on the final day of the trial, showed Cokell carry the two games in his police hat to a redundant Virgin Media desk at the back of the store.
He talked briefly to a security guard before apparently hiding the games – worth £74.98 – and walking out through the store's security barriers without the alarms going off.
After checking the desk for the games, Mr Sutton went to The Mall's police post to speak to Cokell.
"I then asked him where the games were, the two he had selected in the store," Mr Sutton told the court. "At first he replied he did not have them and that they were still in the store.
"I replied that I had seen him on CCTV and that I needed the games back. At this point, he was leaning on the edge of a chair and he informed me that he had the games but could not get hold of them due to where they were now being locked up."
The court heard Cokell offered to return them two days later, but he later denied this in court. Mr Sutton also claimed Mr Cokell promised not to tell anyone if something similar happened to him.
In: News, Arts and Entertainment
Tags: CCTV camera captures police officer stealing, Bristol, England, Thief
Location: Bristol, Bristol, City of, United Kingdom (UK/GB) (load item map)
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