Burglar found asleep next to half-eaten cheesecake after restaurant break-in

28 October 2020, 14:29

By Matt Drake

This is the moment a dozy burglar was found next to a half-eaten cheesecake after breaking into a bar and restaurant before nodding off.

Mark Cooper, 41, was roused by the arresting officers on Saturday morning in Sunderland and jailed for 26 weeks by magistrates on Monday, Northumbria Police said.

Officers were alerted to a break-in at 808 Bar & Kitchen in St Thomas Street in the city, where raiders had broken into the empty till and stolen food and alcohol.

The police arrived within four minutes and found Cooper fast asleep on the floor, along with the half-eaten cheesecake.

Video from an officer's body-worn camera showed him looking bewildered and shouting "whoa, whoa, whoa" to the police, one of whom tells him to "wake up".

Mark Cooper, 41, was found asleep next to a half-eaten cheesecake
Mark Cooper, 41, was found asleep next to a half-eaten cheesecake. Picture: PA

When Cooper appeared to ask what was happening, he was told: "You broke into a bar, man."

He was cuffed and taken into custody and on Monday, Cooper, of Victoria Place, Sunderland, admitted burglary when he appeared before magistrates in South Tyneside, who jailed him for 26 weeks.

After the case, Detective Constable Catherine Gibson said: "This burglary clearly proved to be tiring work for Cooper, and it's safe to say he was brought back to the real world with a bump when awoken by our officers.

“This was a fantastic piece of police work between various teams – from the response cops who attended the scene so quickly to the detectives who pulled together the case to secure his conviction.

“As a result, a burglar who showed a total disregard for his victim and the wider community was arrested, convicted and put behind bars – all within 48 hours.

“We will not tolerate this kind of criminality and we understand that burglary is a crime that has a corrosive impact on society. As a result, I hope this positive and swift action acts as reassurance to businesses that we will take decisive action against burglars and thieves.”

Officers are continuing to investigate others thought to have been involved in the break-in.