Moment burglar is caught by police as he hides under counter during break-in at Sevenoaks restaurant

Stephen Clark is tracked down by Kent Police in a restaurant in Sevenoaks he had just broken into
-Credit: (Image: Kent Police)


A burglar who targeted two restaurants in Kent and was caught by police hiding behind a counter has been jailed. Three days before being sent to prison, Stephen Clark had broken into the town centre restaurants in Sevenoaks within the space of 30 minutes.

Video shows Clark shattering glass panes in the door of one of the restaurants, and then using his boot to prise open the door, before walking in. He was quickly tracked down by police who found him hiding underneath a counter.

Clark had forced the doors at an unnamed restaurant in Dorset Street, and also at Budare in The Shambles, between 10.30pm and 11pm on Friday, May 31. He caused damage to the doors, the glass panels, the frames and locks.

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Officers found Clark hiding behind the counter in Budare, a Venezuelan street food restaurant. The 49-year-old was later charged with two counts of burglary and remanded in custody.

At Sevenoaks Magistrates' Court on Monday (June 3), Clark was sentenced to 12 months in prison. Kent Police has released bodycam footage of the moments a police officer found Clark, sitting on the floor, behind the restaurant.

The officer, using a torch in the darkness of the restaurant, calls out for anyone in there to make themselves known. No-one is seen or heard, but the officer walks forward a few steps and to their right, they see Clark sitting silently on the floor, looking down.

Stephen Clark is tracked down by Kent Police in a restaurant in Sevenoaks he had just broken into
Stephen Clark is tracked down by Kent Police in a restaurant in Sevenoaks he had just broken into -Credit:Kent Police

The officer says "hello sir!" Clark is dressed in a navy zip up nylon top, a grey top underneath, dark gloves and dark trousers.

He has a small rucksack on his back. He is wearing a knitted grey and green hat, with a small peak.

As he comes outside of the restaurant as an officer reads him his rights, you can see Clark taking several deep breaths before making a sudden dash to escape but he is quickly brought to the ground by the police. You can hear a police officer ask colleagues: "Anyone assaulted?" and they reply "no, no". Clark is "secured" says an officer, and Clark can be seen handcuffed on the ground.

Police Sergeant James Page, of Kent Police's west division victim based crime team, said: "Clark caused considerable damage to both premises and stole cash from local business owners, causing them inconvenience and placing them under undue financial stress."

Stephen Clark was caught during a break in at a restaurant in Sevenoaks
Stephen Clark was caught during a break in at a restaurant in Sevenoaks -Credit:Kent Police

"I am thankful to the officers who responded quickly to the initial emergency call and arrested Clark swiftly. It is down to their teamwork that Clark, a repeat offender, didn’t avoid arrest."

You can watch the short YouTube video from Kent Police showing Clark being tracked down here.

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