To protect and serve... or should that be pilfer and steal? Image: yoppy/Flickr.
If you can’t put your faith in the police when it comes to peace of mind, who can you put your faith in? Moreover, a light-fingered copper in the UK has been busted after in-store cameras at leading high-street retailer HMV recorded him exercising his abilities as an opportunistic thief.
According to a Daily Mail report, 34-year-old Peter Cokell of Bristol was found guilty of shoplifting by the Frome Magistrate’s Court in Somerset after the court was presented with footage of him perusing the HMV shelves and deftly hiding PlayStation 3 videogames beneath his police-issue stab vest.
Although the footage was also supported by eye-witness testimony from a HMV security guard who saw Cokell in action, the shamed PC denied the charge lodged against him, insisting that his interest in the two games was based on helping him relate to young people and that he was not stealing but adjusting his trousers.
“I tried my best to be inconspicuous to the general members of the pubic so that they would not form the wrong impression of what I may or may not have been trying to do with my trousers,” explained Cokell.
“I had no reason to steal and no reason to steal PS3 games,” he added. “I don’t have a PS3.”
Despite Cokell’s pleas to the contrary, the judge in the trial was left suitably convinced by the evidence, saying that the HMV store’s CCTV camera footage clearly showed that the two games “certainly left the site” with the Brit cop.
Cokell is expected to receive sentencing on November 27. He resigned from the Avon and Somerset police force in June when the official investigation into the theft began.