A thief who struck at two Aberdeen cafes has been jailed.
David Gray, 31, smashed his way into Foodstory cafe and restaurant on Thistle Street, Aberdeen, at 7am on May 26 before raiding the till and making off with £130 in cash.
Owners of the vegetarian and vegan cafe had to pay £500 to repair a window Gray smashed to get in.
A day earlier, Gray also stole from Cafe Society on Union Street.
Aberdeen Sheriff Court heard yesterday how he had approached the counter, asked a staff member a series of questions about cakes and then left without buying anything.
But when staff studied CCTV the following day, they noticed he had used sleight of hand to steal cash.
Depute fiscal Sally McAuley said: “The footage showed the accused placing his baseball-style hat over the employee tip jar while speaking to the employee and leaving the locus with the jar.
“It is estimated the jar contained £30.”
Describing the Foodstory break-in, Ms McAuley said: “At approximately 10pm on May 25, the locus was locked and secured.
“At around 9am the next day, an employee arrived and saw damage to the glass pane within the main entrance.
“In the cafe it was discovered the cash till float and the employee tip jar had been stolen.”
Staff reviewed CCTV footage and found Gray had broken in two hours earlier.
Describing the footage, Ms McAuley said: “The accused spends a period of time tampering with the cash till before removing it and the employee tip jar.
“In total, £30 was lost from the till and it is estimated the tip jar contained £100.”
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The court heard police were able to identify the man in both sets of CCTV footage as Gray.
Gray, whose address was given in court as HMP Grampian, yesterday admitted theft and housebreaking.
Sentencing was deferred so a criminal justice social work report can be written.
Sheriff Ian Miller remanded Gray in custody until that date.
Defence agent Neil McRobert asked Sheriff Millar if the adjournment could be limited to two weeks. Sheriff Miller agreed and set a date for the sentencing hearing as September 9.
On the day of the break-in – a Sunday – Foodstory posted a social media message to update customers.
It read: “Everyone is OK and we managed to open a few hours after we discovered it.
“A big thanks to our staff who were on duty for all their help, our handyman for sacrificing his Sunday for us and the police for responding so quickly.”