Devon

Totnes Police Station burglar jailed for 16 months

Russell O'Connor Image copyright Devon and Cornwall Police
Image caption Russell O'Connor filmed himself in the station, saying the police were "all asleep"

A burglar who broke into an empty police station, stole handcuffs and car keys and filmed himself trying to use a computer has been jailed for 16 months.

Russell O'Connor, 36, from Cornwall, broke into Totnes station on 21 December while officers were on patrol, Exeter Crown Court heard.

He admitted burglary after taking items also including incapacitating spray, a baton and a police badge.

He was arrested wearing a Devon and Cornwall Police fleece.

Unemployed O'Connor, from Redruth, previously admitted two counts of burglary, having the baton and spray as offensive weapons, and personal possession of cannabis.

He broke into the station twice, at about 02:15 GMT and 03:50, after calling the force on the phone outside the building and being told it was empty, the court heard.

He claimed he walked in through an open side door but the lock showed signs of being picked.

Image copyright Google
Image caption He was caught by two officers who returned to the station

O'Connor filmed himself and could be heard saying: "I'm Russell O'Connor. This is Totnes Police Station. They are all asleep."

He also took two torches, a lock-picking kit, a palmtop computer and the fleece.

He was caught by two officers who returned to the station.

Judge Peter Johnson said O'Connor was "under the influence of drink and drugs" and it was an "unusual" case.

Defending, Paul Dentith said O'Connor carried out the raids after a night out drinking at pubs in Totnes, initially looking for someone to talk to because he was lonely, depressed and wanted help.

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