Secret camera helps catch hotel chef who stole cash

PUBLISHED: 16:21 23 September 2020 | UPDATED: 16:23 23 September 2020

Secret cameras were set up in the Star Hotel in Great Yarmouth to unmask a thief Picture: Anthony Carroll

Secret cameras were set up in the Star Hotel in Great Yarmouth to unmask a thief Picture: Anthony Carroll


A hotel owner set up hidden CCTV to catch a thief after discovering that money was going missing.

The secret camera installed in the Star Hotel, in Hall Quay, Great Yarmouth, unmasked chef David Tumber who was filmed stealing from the float and tips jar.

Over four days last summer in July 2019 he was caught going into the office and behind the bar taking cash.

The 44-year-old of Springfield Road, Gorleston, admitted the theft when he appeared at Great Yarmouth Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday (September 23).

The charges comprised four counts of theft by employee on July 5, July 6, July 11, and July 14.

Stacie Cossey, prosecuting, said the owner had discovered money going missing and suspected that staff were helping themselves.

He installed CCTV and it showed Tumber taking £45 from a float in the filing cabinet.

On another occasion he took £30 and on two other occasions was filmed going behind the bar and removing an unknown amount of money from the tips’ jar.

She said his role was to prepare food and that he did not have permission to enter the bar area.

However, in interview he said he was allowed access and that it was usual to take money from the float for groceries and that everyone helped themselves from the tips jar, and he did the same.

Maya Lal, mitigating, said he had worked as a chef at The Star for four months at the time of the offences.

She said he was struggling with financial difficulties, was behind with the rent, and was around £8,000 in debt.

“Everything just got on top of him,” she said.

“It was an opportunist and foolish thing to do to steal from his employer.”

She said he was “deeply sorry and ashamed of his actions.”

A period of poor mental health had followed, during which he was sectioned, but his life was now on track and he was back in work as a full time executive chef with a stable address and a relationship.

“This is something that he wants to put behind him,” she added.

Chairman of the bench Jeanne Heal said being a theft in breach of trust made it more serious.

He was ordered to carry out 60 hours of unpaid work and pay £265 in compensation, victim surcharge, and costs.

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