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Last Updated: Tuesday, 24 May, 2005, 16:32 GMT 17:32 UK
Shop manager broke into own store
Glasgow Sheriff Court
Hamill will appear before the sheriff for sentencing next month
A supermarket manager has been remanded in custody after admitting carrying out a 50,000 break-in at his own store.

James Hamill, 25, stole the cash from the Kirkintilloch branch of Sainsbury's where he worked.

He sprayed the area with juice to try and wipe any trace of him being there, but he was unaware that CCTV footage had captured the whole thing.

At Glasgow Sheriff Court, Sheriff Brian Kearney deferred sentencing until next month for reports.

The court heard that Hamill was a highly regarded trainee manager.

But in the early hours of 21 March, a senior employee at the store was called out amid reports an alarm had gone off.

Hamill was taken aback that he had been caught on camera and he proceeded to make full and frank admissions in relation to what had gone on
Elaine Jackson
Procurator fiscal
During a search, there were suspicions a break-in had occurred and police were called.

Officers later discovered that a cash room had been ransacked and sprayed with a mysterious red liquid.

It was thought no money had been stolen as the safe and all keys needed to access it appeared not to have been touched.

But, after a more thorough investigation, it was found a total of 47,738 in notes and coins had been taken.

It was also discovered various parts of the shop's security system had been tampered with.

Fiscal Elaine Jackson told the court on Tuesday that Hamill was quizzed by police as he was one of only a few employees who was allowed access to the cash room.

CCTV hidden

He was ruled out until officers watched CCTV footage of him and an unknown man preparing the break-in after the store had shut for the evening.

Hamill initially denied being involved.

Miss Jackson said: "Hamill was taken aback that he had been caught on camera and he proceeded to make full and frank admissions in relation to what had gone on."

He told police he had sneaked into the shop two days before the burglary using his personal alarm code.

Along with the other man, he disabled security sensors in the cash room, unscrewed door chains and took safe keys to have them copied.

'Easy' break-in

A CCTV camera was hidden with a cushion cover - unaware there was another next to the office.

Hamill returned alone the next evening on 20 March, bagged the cash and then sprayed the room with cherryade to "eradicate any DNA".

He told officers he done it because he was "desperate" and added he had found the break in "easy".

Hamill claimed he had left the money, which has never been recovered, in a nearby skip to collect it the following day.

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