Burglars caught on camera by surveillance team

SASHA BORISSENKO
Last updated 13:00 28/02/2014

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A burglar who was filmed stealing from a tennis club by two people testing surveillance equipment has been sentenced to 150 hours of community service.

Jason Sean Downer, 21, together with 18-year-old Christina Maria Sutton were charged with burglary..

The pair were caught on camera by staff from Archetype Precision Systems Limited who were testing a digital night vision video recorder in Hope Domain.

Prosecutor Chris Stringer told the Nelson District Court the defendants arrived at the Hope Tennis Clubrooms at about 12.30am on January 24.

The pair removed tools from their vehicle which were used to get into the premises.

Once inside, they located a small safe containing $24 in club membership fees.

Startled by an arriving police patrol, the defendants ran from the building towards the railway reserve.

While running Downer disposed of one of the bags with $12 in it by throwing it over a fence on to the tennis courts.

Downer admitted the facts to the police but denied any intention to steal anything from the building.

Judge Gregory Ross questioned why Downer would risk the possibility of imprisonment for just $12.

"If you do this again you cannot expect the court to take these matters lightly."

He sentenced him to 150 hours of community work.

Outside court Archetype company directors said "many members of the community have thanked us for being at the right place, at the right time, with the right equipment".

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