A masked gang stole more than £10,000 worth of gear from a golf course during two raids at one of Scotland’s top luxury hotels.
Craig Stevens, 32, was part of the balaclava-wearing gang who broke into the greenkeeping store at Fairmont Hotel in St Andrews.
Stevens – who has a back issue which affects his mobility – was later identified as part of the gang on CCTV footage because of his unusual gait.
The trio stole nearly £6,000 worth of greenkeeping equipment after breaking into a shed on the championship course at the Fife hotel on April 26 last year.
After getting away with the large haul, the brazen gang returned a few weeks later and broke in again to steal another £4,470 worth of machinery and tools.
Depute fiscal Marie Irvine told Dundee Sheriff Court the greenkeeper arrived at 5am and found the shed had been broken into overnight.
“He saw the door had been forced open and a number of items had been stolen. A review of CCTV was carried out and three males could be seen jemmying the shed open.
“A van arrived and items were placed into it. They were wearing balaclava-type masks to conceal their identities.”
On June 11 the greenkeeper discovered the gang had again broken into the shed and stolen thousands of pounds worth of equipment.
This time, a review of the CCTV was able to pick up the vehicle’s registration number and it was traced to Stevens.
Officers found him in the van with a former co-accused and a number of the stolen items.
He tried to pull away but was arrested by the officers.
A search was then carried out at his home and the balaclava he had been wearing during both raids was recovered from the property.
“He has back issues that affect his mobility and he was seen to make laboured movements on the CCTV,” Miss Irvine said.
She said they had taken goods worth £5,910 during the first raid and a further £4,470 during the second. Less than half of it was recovered.
Stevens, of Stewart Court, Methil, admitted breaking into the Fairmont Hotel’s property on April 26 and again on June 10, and stealing a large haul of goods.
Among the items taken were nine strimmers, three leaf blowers, two lawnmowers, two angle grinders, two generators and numerous other tools.
Sheriff Thomas Hughes deferred sentence for the preparation of background reports and Stevens had his bail continued.
The Fairmont Hotel’s golf courses have hosted final qualifying for the Open Championship, as well as staging the Scottish Seniors Open.
Famous guests of the five-star resort include Prince William, Hugh Grant, Sergio Garcia, Jamie and Louise Redknapp, Tony Blair and Samuel L Jackson.