A DORSET Police volunteer who had dreamed of becoming an officer since childhood has admitted stealing body armour and Kevlar during a burglary last year.

Max Bateman, now 20 and of Church Road, Ferndown, stole 16 body armour vests, 36 Kevlar plates and 13 Kevlar helmets during one burglary at a stockroom.

Kevlar, a heat-resistant and strong synthetic fibre, is used in bulletproof vests, combat helmets and ballistic face masks.

On Friday, Bateman appeared at Poole Magistrates’ Court to admit three counts of burglary and two of theft.

The court heard he broke into the stockroom at Solace Global Maritime Ltd in Twin Sails House, Poole on three occasions between January and April 2019.

During one of the burglaries, he took the body armour, Kevlar plates and helmets, as well as canoe helmets, pocket radios and a projector. In the second two, he stole a thermal imaging device, two satellite navigation phones and a Kevlar helmet.

Solace Global Maritime, in West Quay Road, offers the services of travel risk management and crisis avoidance specialists.

Recently, those working for the company have compiled risk assessments on the coronavirus, medically repatriated a British employee working in the British Virgin Islands when a hurricane struck, and rescued a missing person ‘drugged and mugged’ in Cambodia.

Bateman also admitted two counts of theft by employee. The court heard he stole three personalised medic epaulettes and a police issue baseball cap belonging to a sergeant at Ferndown Police Station on dates between February and April last year.

The defendant worked in engagement services for Dorset Police. Until last year, he was a contact point for police in Boscombe. He then volunteered as a liaison between town centre businesses and officers.

Magistrates sentenced him to 12 weeks in detention, suspended for 18 months, because he had targeted high-value goods.

He was also ordered to comply with a rehabilitation activity requirement for 15 days and carry out 150 hours of unpaid work, as well as pay £1,000 compensation.

Bateman had planned to join the police since childhood. In 2012, when he was 12 and a student at Ferndown Middle School, Bateman helped a man who suffered a seizure in a barbershop. He told the Daily Echo he had joined St John Ambulance as he wanted to work as a police officer,

A spokesperson from Dorset Police said: “We received a report of the theft of items from Solace Global Maritime on April 18 2019.

“Bateman was arrested on April 23. Officers became aware of the theft from Ferndown police station that day.”

Bateman was suspended from his role upon arrest and is no longer a volunteer, the spokesperson said.