Extensive damage to Sunderland pub targeted by heartless burglar

Pictures show the extensive damage to a Sunderland pub after it was ransacked by a heartless burglar – who tried to steal alcohol and charity box cash.

Tuesday, 28th July 2020, 3:07 pm

Alan Clarke smashed the window of Chaplin’s Bar, in Stockton Road, Sunderland, using a brick in the early hours of Sunday, July 19, before climbing into the pub.

Once inside, he left a trail of destruction – swiping bottles of alcohol and spirits, damaging the cash tills and even snatching a large quantity of coins from a charity box.

He then tipped over one of the gaming machines and tried to force it open before the bar’s owner was made aware of the break-in.

Alan Clarke broke into a Sunderland pub and caused damage worth around £2,000

Police soon swooped on the premises and found Clarke, 45, inside having pocketed the cash and bagged up bottles of alcohol. He was also found in possession of a Stanley knife and a quantity of cocaine.

Clarke, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty to burglary, possession of a pointed article and possession of cocaine when he appeared before magistrates in South Tyneside on Monday, July 20.

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Clarke was remanded in custody and is due to be sentenced on August 17 at Newcastle Crown Court.

The damage to caused to the Stockton Road pub

Detective Sergeant Andy Roper, of Northumbria Police’s Southern Burglary Team, said: “Alan Clarke caused a huge amount of damage and destruction when he smashed his way into a city centre bar for purely selfish means.

“He showed a total disregard for both the law and the livelihood of the owner, racking up hundreds of pounds worth of damage in a cynical bid to steal alcohol and money.

“Clarke even had the audacity to steal coins from a charity box – his behaviour is absolutely appalling and he should be ashamed of his actions.”

He smashed a window with a brick to gain entry

DS Roper highlighted how many business have struggled during lockdown, adding: “It is therefore especially disappointing that Clarke made the decision to carry out this disgraceful offence, at a time when the rest of the city are pulling together and showing the community spirit that this region is famed for.”

The victim revealed the damage caused by Clarke to the window, games machine and till – as well as the alcohol which he had consumed – was worth approximately £2,000.

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He tipped over one of the gaming machines and tried to force it open