Costa Coffee Manager Stages Robbery to Gamble with Store Revenues

  • Gary Mills stole £3,736.40 ($4,811.36) from business to gamble at betting shop nearby
  • His strange and uncooperative behavior led police to become suspicious and begin investigation
  • Former manager sentenced to 12 months in prison with two-year suspension
  • He must also complete 20-day rehabilitation program and 200 hours of unpaid work
banknotes in safe
A Costa Coffee manager in Wales staged a robbery to steal funds from the business for the purpose of gambling at a nearby betting shop. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Fake robbery claim

A former Costa Coffee manager in Wales, UK has admitted to staging a robbery to gamble with store revenues. In August, Gary Mills phoned the police from the chain’s Quadrant, Swansea branch where he worked to report the robbery.

It has now been revealed that the robbery claim was fake, and that Mills took money from the store to fund his gambling.

Details of the alleged robbery

The Swansea Crown Court heard this week of how Mills had called the police from the coffee shop on August 16 in the early morning hours. At the time, Mills told police he had been pushed through the door by an unknown man demanding money from the store.

The former manager alleged he had opened the safe and given the man a bag with cash inside. He also said he had been hit on the head with a claw hammer. When police arrived on the scene, they found Mills slumped down near the safe with no visible injuries.

Mills smelled of alcohol. Paramedics claimed he was agitated

According to police, Mills smelled of alcohol. Paramedics claimed he was agitated when asked for more information about the incident, using derogatory terms towards them.

Suspicions arise

When police officers at the scene asked Mills for the keys to the coffee shop, he refused. His behavior caused them to become suspicious of the incident, leading to an investigation.

footage from the scene and from a nearby bus station showed no evidence of a robbery

CCTV footage from the scene and from a nearby bus station showed no evidence of a robbery happening around the time Mills had called in. The investigation revealed that £3,736.40 ($4,811.36) had been taken from the coffee shop.

Mills was arrested during his examination at the hospital following the alleged incident. A police interview took place later, revealing what had really happened. Mills admitted to officers that he had taken the money from the safe and gone to a betting shop located nearby.

Deeming the incident a drunken lapse of judgment, the defendant’s barrister, Hywel Davies, said: “He took to drink and committed the offense he finds himself before the court for.”

Judge Keith Thomas sentenced Mills to 12 months in prison with a two-year suspension for staging the robbery to police when he knew he had taken the money and spent it. Mills must complete a 20-day rehabilitation program and 200 hours of unpaid work for his crimes.