The pair's Scrooge-like behaviour was exposed on CCTV just two days before December 25
Two real-life Grinches who stole Christmas presents from under the tree at a Sunderland hair salon have been convicted.
William Trotter, 37, and Colin Pearson, 38, showed little festive spirit as they kicked their way into the Estrella salon, on Foyle Street, on the morning of December 23 last year.
They then snatched dozens of delicately-wrapped Christmas presents that had been left under the tree for staff and customers, before swiping hair and beauty products from the shelf.
But their Scrooge-like behaviour was exposed on CCTV, and after a number of the stolen gifts were later found at Pearson’s home address, the pair were arrested by police.
Last Wednesday (February 20), Pearson, of Hudson Road, Sunderland, pleaded guilty to one count of burglary at Newcastle Crown Court.
Trotter, of East Vines, Sunderland, admitted three counts of burglary, one relating to the salon and two further offences which he committed on Christmas Day.
The pair are due to be sentenced next month.
Detective Sergeant Gaye Martin, of Northumbria Police, said: “Christmas should be a time for good-will and kindness, but Trotter and Pearson showed little festive cheer and instead heaped misery on families across the city as a result of their selfish actions.
“They showed a total disregard to the law and the residents of Sunderland by preying on people’s kindness and stealing thoughtful Christmas gifts that had been bought for hard-working employees and customers.
“This kind of behaviour undermines the fabric of our society, so it is important that the public recognise that perpetrators who show no consideration for others will be dealt with swiftly and robustly.
“Trotter and Pearson will now be on Santa’s naughty list for many years to come, and must deal with the consequences of their actions.”
The thieves were caught on camera forcing entry to the salon in the early hours of December 23 before they carried out a rash one-minute search of the premises.
During that time, the pair bagged up a selection of Christmas gifts from under the tree – including bottles of Prosecco, make-up and Loreal beauty products – before hastily making off.
When employees came into work the next morning, they contacted police who went over the business’ CCTV footage.
As part of their enquiries, officers attended Pearson’s home address and found a number of presents that had been stolen from the salon wedged under his own tree.
The pair were arrested by police, but despite refusing to cooperate with police upon interview, later admitted burglary.
Trotter also admitted two further counts of burglary after raiding neighbouring properties on Low Street, Sunderland, on Christmas Day.
Both men are due to be sentenced at Newcastle Crown Court on March 21.