Restaurant bosses help to catch a thief

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BOSSES at a Harry Ramsden’s fish and chip restaurant carried out an internal investigation to help bring a thief to justice after money went missing from the till, Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard.

The restaurant carried out an internal probe and the thief - teenage employee Robert Mugridge - was netted.

Kimberley Jackson, operations manager for the restaurant, in East Midlands Designer Outlet, South Normanton, suspected 19 year-old Mugridge was the culprit.

Cash shortages had been noticed from takings when he was on duty between December and February said Julie Downes, prosecuting.

In addition, a number of refunds had been issued to the same bank card.

Mugridge was one of four staff responsible for cashing up when the shop closed. Ms Jackson made a surprise visit and asked the four to show their bank cards.

They all did except Mugridge, who later produced a card he had not used for the refunds. However, some of his thefts had also been captured on CCTV and he was suspended.

Mrs Downes said: “The company was unable to contact him following suspension and he was dismissed. Police were informed and his house was searched and the card credited with the refunds was found in his bedroom.

“He said he didn’t need the money. He took £20 initially and his offending escalated. He was remorseful and he appeared upset by his actions.”

Mugridge, of Peartree Avenue, Ripley, admitted theft of £2,103. He had no previous convictions.

The bench imposed a three-month prison sentence but suspended it for a year. They also ordered him to do 150 hours unpaid work and pay £1,000 compensation with £85 costs.