Chef stole cash and catering equipment during restaurant raid

A police car parked in a closed area after a construction crane was bent overnight in high winds brought by Storm Katie in south London on March 28, 2016. 
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A chef has been jailed for five years after he was convicted of burgling a Bradford restaurant during which he made off with cash, catering equipment and other goods.  

Craig Lyndon Postlethwaite, 46, was found guilty by a jury at Bradford Crown Court of ransacking the city’s 3 Singhs restaurant over four hours.

According to the Bradford Telegraph & Argus, he and two accomplices were caught on CCTV moving their plunder around and loading it into two vehicles.

The haul included the week’s £22,000 takings, high value computer equipment, the key to the owner’s BMW sports car, company papers, kitchen equipment and Moet champagne.

Prosecutor Geraldine Kelly told the court the 3 Singhs almost went under financially after the break-in and its insurance premiums have now risen.

Postlethwaite, of Greater Manchester, committed the burglary with Robert Docherty, 35, also of Empress Drive, who pleaded guilty before the trial. He will be sentenced in August.

Miss Kelly told the court that another man disabled the restaurant’s alarm system at 9.30pm on the night of the burglary. He was seen on the CCTV system reaching up and disconnecting it while on his way from the toilets, according to the report.

Two hours later, after the premises were locked up for the night, three men smashed their way in through a glazed door at the back and were caught on camera loading their spoils until shortly before 4am.

The jury was played CCTV footage of the intruders moving large pieces of equipment around in the restaurant.

The getaway vehicles, one insured in the name of Postlethwaite, were seen on Bradford’s automatic recognition system travelling in convoy shortly after the burglary. Police later found a handwritten list of Indian restaurants from the Yorkshire area and their postcodes in an item of clothing worn during the offence. A photo of a man sitting laughing on the burgled safe was also recovered from Docherty’s phone.

The court heard that Postlethwaite was already serving a 52-month prison sentence for cannabis trafficking, imposed at Liverpool Crown Court in April this year.

He had 71 previous convictions for 26 offences, including burglary, theft and handling stolen goods.

Recorder David Osborne jailed him for eight months for the burglary, to run consecutively, making a jail term of five years in total.

Postlethwaite’s barrister said he was a qualified chef who had worked all over the world.

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