East Sussex man pleads guilty to burglary spree

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A man has pleaded guilty to stealing money after three businesses were targeted in East Sussex, police have reported.

On Saturday, July 6, businesses in Brighton and Hove had money stolen during opening hours, Sussex Police said.

Police said the crime spree began at around 8.15am, when Samuel Hocking, 35, of Goodwood Way in Brighton, entered a business in The Droveway, Hove, and walked towards the tills and removed a cash drawer.

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After he was disturbed by staff, police said Hocking dropped the drawer, but managed to escape with some of the takings.

A man has pleaded guilty to stealing money after three businesses were targeted in East Sussex, police have reported. Picture by Jon RigbyA man has pleaded guilty to stealing money after three businesses were targeted in East Sussex, police have reported. Picture by Jon Rigby
A man has pleaded guilty to stealing money after three businesses were targeted in East Sussex, police have reported. Picture by Jon Rigby

Around 20 minutes later, Sussex Police said Hocking entered a second business in Preston Drove, Brighton, and again, entered the till area.

He unsuccessfully attempted to remove the till drawer, but managed to leave with a sum of takings, police added.

Six hours later, Sussex Police said Hocking entered a third shop in Warren Way, Woodingdean, and made his way towards the tills.

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Police said he forced open a till drawer and took the contents, before quickly leaving the premises.

Hocking's number plate was reported to police when he was spotted leaving Warren Way by a quick thinking member of the public.

A short while later, Hocking was stopped by police in Benfield Way after being seen driving in Old Shoreham Road.

Sussex Police said he was arrested on suspicion of burglary, and following concern from officers that he had been drinking, Hocking was asked to provide a breath sample.

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Police said he was found to be exceeding the prescribed limit of alcohol and so was also arrested on suspicion of drink driving.

Sussex Police said Hocking was charged on Sunday, July 7 with three counts of burglary, and one of driving while exceeding the alcohol limit.

At Brighton Magistrates' Court on Monday, July 8, police said Hocking pleaded guilty to the charges, and was remanded in custody to await his sentencing on July 29.