Scratchcard Thief Caught After Trying to Collect Winnings

Robert Bastin, 25 from Sidmouth in Devon is a petty thief with no fewer than 61 convictions but the law has once again caught up with him after he stole scratchcards and then was caught attempting to cash them in and collect the winnings.

The crook stole the scratchcards disguised in a balaclava from the Tesco Express store in Sidmouth in Devon. Of the cards that he stole, ten were winners. Not wanting to go back to the scene of the crime, Bastin went to other lottery outlets to cash the tickets in but as they’d already been reported stolen the system flagged them and the shops refused to pay out.

Due to his previous convictions, police recognised Bastin from the CCTV and finally tracked him down to Woodbury Common where he had a huge hoard of stolen tickets inside a car, also stolen. He fled into the undergrowth leaving a trail of stolen tickets behind him, but police caught up with him and tasered him as he tried to escape.

Upon investigation it became clear he had also burgled the Budgens in Exmouth, adding more stolen tickets to his hoard plus whisky and champagne. In court Bastin admitted handling stolen goods and theft and was jailed for two years at Exeter Crown Court. His defence lawyer stated that Bastin worked as a gardener and his partner as a carer but due to their low wages and benefit cuts they were struggling to support their five children. His lawyer stated that the thefts were not for luxuries but an attempt to support his family, but that didn’t stop the judge imposing a two year sentence.

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