Restaurant burglar found asleep next to half-eaten cheesecake

A man who broke into a restaurant and bar in Sunderland was caught red-handed and red-faced after falling asleep at his own crime scene next to a half-eaten cheesecake.

Mark Cooper, 41, was one of two individuals who broke into 808 Bar & Kitchen in Sunderland in the early hours of the morning on 24 October.

Bizarrely donned in high-vis jackets, the thieves broke into the till, which was empty, and also helped themselves to food and alcohol, CCTV footage showed. According to 808 they filled a cleaner’s mop bucket with bottles of beer, cider and soft drinks, slapping a half-eaten cheesecake straight on top.

Footage from 2am, however, only showed one person leaving the bar.

After hearing a noise coming from outside the office area the following morning, staff located Cooper asleep and snoring on the floor.

In a social media post, the 808 Bar & Kitchen said: “As if a deep sleep mid burglary wasn’t enough, we found him spooning Henry the Hoover with the cheesecake by his side, four hours after he had originally entered the building.

“We realise the festive season is fast approaching but we certainly didn’t expect our very own ‘wet bandits’ to walk through the doors, not least for a cheesecake and a kip on the toilet floor.

“We must actually applaud the two of them for sticking to certain Covid measures during these strange times, managing to wear a face mask throughout the venue while not being seated at a table

“All jokes aside, in situations like these it’s frustrating to think that these scumbags are breaking into businesses when times are already hard enough in the current climate.”

A statement from Northumbria Police said that Cooper was woken and arrested at the scene and appeared before magistrates in South Tyneside on Monday (26 October).

He was jailed for 26 weeks after pleading guilty to burglary and was ordered to pay £30 in compensation to the bar.

A spokesperson from Northumbria Police added: “We will not tolerate this kind of criminality and hope this positive and swift action acts as reassurance to businesses that we will take decisive action against burglars and thieves.”

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