Man went armed with wire cutters to steal boxer shorts – but was caught minutes later

A man went armed with wire cutters to steal underwear from a town store – but was caught just minutes later.

Aiden Cullen, 30, appeared at Lynn Magistrates’ Court on Thursday charged with three offences.

He pleaded guilty to attempted theft from a shop, going equipped for theft, and obstructing a police constable in the execution of their duty – offences he committed on September 22.

Aiden Cullen tried to steal from the Sports Direct store in Lynn
Aiden Cullen tried to steal from the Sports Direct store in Lynn

Crown prosecutor Lesla Small said that on that date, Cullen entered Sports Direct in Lynn’s town centre with a set of wire cutters.

He proceeded to use them to remove the security tags from two packs of boxer shorts, worth a combined £55.98, before exiting the building and entering New Look next door.

A member of the public had spotted him in the midst of the attempted theft, and both police and street rangers were alerted. Officers subsequently located him in the shop.

A constable approached Cullen and told him he was being detained, but he became “actively obstructive” by pushing and pulling away from her while she tried to place handcuffs on him.

However, members of the public helped take Cullen to the floor and he was successfully arrested.

After spotting the wire cutters, the constable asked Cullen: “Oh, so you have got snips?”

He responded: “They aren’t mine – you planted them on me.”

The boxer shorts were recovered and were able to be sold by Sports Direct.

Mitigating, Alison Muir said: “In his past he had an addiction to cocaine, and that was why he was previously offending.

“That is not an issue this time. He wanted to give these items to his son as he was unemployed at the time and had little money.”

The solicitor suggested that unpaid work could be a suitable punishment for Cullen, and magistrates asked probation services to carry out a report to see if that was the case.

Probation officer Lewis Spicer told the bench that the defendant currently works six days a week, but would like to carry out unpaid work as it would help to “keep him out of trouble”.

Magistrates, led by Terrance Geater, subsequently handed Cullen a 12-month community order which will require him to complete 100 hours of unpaid work.

He will also pay £105 in legal costs and a £114 victim surcharge, while an order was made for the forfeiture and destruction of the wire cutters.