Police track fruit machine thief

A MAN who used a magnet to trick fruit machines in a Felixstowe amusement arcade into paying out over £100 has pledged to never to do it again after police tracked him down.

A MAN who used a magnet to trick fruit machines in a Felixstowe amusement arcade into paying out over £100 has pledged to never to do it again after police tracked him down.

Nicholas Robinson, of Cottingham, in East Yorkshire, pleaded guilty to theft from a meter or automatic machine.

Naomi Turner, prosecuting, told South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court that an attendant at Family Leisure in Sea Road, Felixstowe, had seen Robinson and two other men repeatedly bending down close to the machine.

This drew his suspicion and the attendant approached the men and asked what they were doing, and then saw one of them bend down and remove something that had been attached to the machine.


You may also want to watch:


The trio then fled, and when the machine was audited it was found that its takings were down by £145.

Following the machine being checked for fingerprints by scene of crime officers, 20-year-old Robinson was arrested at his home in Cottingham, near Hull.

Most Read

When questioned he admitted being at the arcade and told officers he had worked out a method of holding back the reels on certain fruit machines using a magnet, tricking the machine into thinking a win had been made every time it was played.

He said by repeating the process it was possible to empty a machine of its contents in a short space of time with no risk of losing.

He told police that he had not thought of what he was doing as stealing.

Robinson told magistrates that he had been struggling to make ends meet after losing his job following a car crash.

He said: “I won't ever do it again. I am working now, so I don't need to.”

Dawn Girling, chairman of the bench, adjourned sentencing until September 14.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter