Devon

Exeter burglar caught by Minstrels chocolate 'trail'

Mark Rye
Image caption Rye was found with 33 wraps of drugs

A chocolate "trail" led to the capture of a drunken thief, a court in Devon has been told.

Mark Rye, 29, of Fore Street, Exeter, was "off his face" when he broke into a Co-operative store in the city in May, stealing alcohol and sweets.

Devon and Cornwall Police were able to track him down by following a trail of dropped Minstrels chocolates.

Rye, who admitted burglary and drugs charges, was jailed at Exeter Crown Court for three years and nine months.

The court heard Rye stole £300 of alcohol and sweets in the raid.

Prosecutor Neil Lawson said: "The defendant left a trail of sweets - Minstrels - rather than a trail of blood."

The court heard police found 33 wraps of drugs inside a hollow chocolate egg on Rye's lap after the burglary.

Rye admitted three charges of supplying crack cocaine and heroin with intent.

He was "off his face" on drink when he broke into the shop with the intention of carrying away as much alcohol as possible to sell.

The burglar, who lived near the store, was caught on CCTV.

Defence lawyer Gareth Evans said: "He lives just around the corner and the CCTV covers that road. It was crass stupidity."

Sentencing Rye, Judge Philip Wassall said: "You have a bad record for dishonesty."

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