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Thieves Luke Rudkin and Curtis Coney-Lax stole £3,000 from pub gambling machines across Hampshire and Dorset
A PAIR of thieves stole nearly £3,000 from pub gambling machines in a “professionally planned” three-day crime spree, a court heard.
Southampton Crown Court heard how it was unclear how the men managed to extract the cash.
But it is thought they had a system of lifting the front panels of the machines before hitting a test button underneath, releasing coins.
The court heard how they would gather around the machine pretending to play as normal – and then carry out the theft together while regular drinkers were sitting just yards away.
They were only caught when a maintenance worker realised cash was missing from one device and the pair were later identified on CCTV.
The 25-year-olds were arrested and both pleaded guilty earlier this year to six counts of theft totalling £2,861.
The offences took place on March 15, 16 and 18 this year.
Rudkin, of Hayes Avenue, Bournemouth, and Coney-Lax, of Layton Road, Poole, both had previous convictions and both had separate offences taken in to account as they were sentenced.
The court was told how they had both suffered with gambling addiction in the past and that they had kept out of trouble since their arrest, pleading guilty at the first opportunity.
Rudkin was sentenced to 20 months suspended for two years with a three-month overnight curfew.
Coney-Lax was given a 12- month sentence, suspended for two years as well as a one month curfew order. He was also ordered to carry out 100 hours of community service.
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