A MAN stole a Glock 17 air pistol and power tools from a store in Bridport to fuel his crack habit, a court heard.

Reece Wilson, aged 24, appeared before Weymouth magistrates via video link from a prison outside of Dorset and pleaded guilty to shoplifting from Bartlett Country Stores on St Andrew's Trading Estate in Bridport on September 11, 2023.

He admitted to stealing a Glock 17 air pistol valued at £209.70, a Draper Storm Force impact driver valued at £46.16, a Draper Storm Force reciprocating saw valued at £53.94, a Draper Strom Force charger CB20 valued at £29.14 and a Draper Storm Force battery valued at £79.20. The total value of the stolen items was £418.12.

He was also then charged with possessing an air weapon - due to the automatic five-year firearms prohibition as a person who recently spent three or more months in prison due to a prior arrest for burglary.

Robert Salame, prosecuting, said that Wilson had entered the store with a backpack and stole the tools before moving over towards a glass display case containing the Glock 17. He took the pistol from the box, and walked out without making any attempt to pay.

He would later go back to ask about the price of . 177 pellets, which are the same calibre as those used in the stolen air pistol. 

The stolen goods have not been recovered, magistrates were told.

Mr Salame stated that the more serious charge in this case is the possession of a firearm which would require a licence.

Mitigating, Simon Lacey challenged this assertion, arguing that police had not established in the court documents that one was required in this case.

Mr Salame agreed that his assertion had merely been to assist the court and had been based on online searches. After a brief adjournment to check, it was agreed that a licence was not necessary.

Resuming, Mr Salame said that Wilson - who had been released from prison shortly before the offence following a burglary - was recalled on this matter having removed his GPS tracker and relapsing.

Mr Lacey admitted that Wilson did not have a 'terribly good record'. He had come down to Dorset to visit family but had an issue with crack cocaine saying he 'had to steal to fund the drug habit'.

Mr Lacey added that the defendant has been doing all he can to be sensible in prison and is feeling positive about an upcoming parole hearing for early release, after which he will attend approved premises to deal with his 'drug trouble'.

The magistrates, chaired by Mr Bremner, ordered Wilson to pay compensation of £418.12.

No separate penalty was given for possession of a firearm.