Serial Wigan thief stole from gaming machines across the country

Damien Rigby
Damien Rigby

A serial thief from the Wigan area who targeted gaming machines at at 10-pin bowling alley in Worcester has been jailed for 32 months.

Police stopped Damien Rigby on the M6 several weeks after he targeted an arcade at a leisure centre at the end of February.

Investigators recovered a number of cash boxes from Rigby’s vehicle after the motorway stop, Hereford Crown Court was told.

He is said to have damaged gaming machines at the venue by forcing open the cash boxes.

Police seized £2,571, as a result of the raid, and this has now been forfeited by Rigby under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

He pleaded guilty to the theft, from Tenpin Bowling at Perdiswel Park, Droitwich Road, Worcester, when he appeared before the city’s magistrates.

And when he was committed for sentence Rigby, of Lancaster Road, Hindley, was given a two years and eight-month sentence.

Speaking after the case, PC Dave Wood, who co-ordinated the investigation, said: “This is a fantastic result, which sends a clear message to criminals who travel to our force area to commit crime that it will not be tolerated and will be dealt with strongly.”

Rigby has a string of previous convictions - and a number of them for breaking into gaming machines up and down the country.

He was given a six-month suspended sentence for stealing more than £1,500 from three separate venues in the Great Yarmouth area in 2016.

And he was also prosecuted for stealing cash, and attempted thefts, from arcades in Horwich, Grange-over-Sands and Fleetwood in 2013.

And in 2011 Rigby and a second man were convicted of similar thefts from bowling alleys and arcades in the Norwich area.

Rigby had, around that time, also stolen £1,200 from gaming machines at a Wigan pub.