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Home / Latest News / This thief asked a jeweller for a glass of water

This thief asked a jeweller for a glass of water

A thief distracted staff at a high-end jewellers by asking for a glass of water – then snatched watches worth £10,000.

Dad-of-three St Clair Mansbridge took the two Cartier watches, worth £5,000 each, from Parkhouse in The Hayes on April 20, Cardiff Crown Court heard.

The 38-year-old has a record for dishonesty going back more than 20 years but this was a step up for him, his lawyer told a judge.

Step up

“He didn’t think he would ever be left in a position where he could run off with one Cartier watch – let alone two,” said barrister Peter Harding-Roberts.

“But to his surprise he was left in just that position and he took the opportunity.”

Mansbridge, from Heol Muston, Ely walked into the shop and asked to look at a number of Cartier watches and then decided he wanted a glass of water from a carafe.

£5,000 each

Prosecutor Ian Kolvin said: “When he was left with the watches he took two, valued at £5,000 each.”

A police officer immediately recognised Mansbridge from CCTV but the defendant denied it was him until his fingerprints and DNA were identified.

Cardiff Crown Court

The timepieces were never recovered.

He pleaded guilty to theft and the court heard how since his arrest in April he had twice gone into House of Fraser and stolen handbags worth £500 – one an Armani.

Magistrates jailed him for six months for those thefts in June and, when he appeared at court on Monday, Recorder of Cardiff Judge Eleri Rees jailed him for a further nine months.

Different league

“You went into a different league here,” she told him.

“The watches were worth £10,000 and you admitted you sold them for £1,000.”

Mansbridge’s criminal record began in 1994 with almost an identical theft at a jeweller’s in Porthcawl where he stole gold items after distracting staff.

Family man

Mr Harding-Roberts said Mansbridge was a family man who felt the need help out whenever he could – and when money was needed for special events he resorted to stealing.

“This time he was foolishly influenced by a birthday which was coming up,” he said.

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