Fenland burglar caught red-handed after unwittingly alerting neighbours

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A man who was caught red-handed burgling a property in Chatteris has been jailed for more than two years.

Duncan Brittain (40) was burgling the property in Bridge Street on the evening of Saturday, November 10, when he unwittingly alerted neighbours who heard him in the annex.

Duncan Brittain

Duncan Brittain

The neighbours, two men aged 56 and 27, knew the house was empty so phoned police and went round to investigate. They found Brittain searching through the building with a torch and kept him inside until police came.

When officers arrived he claimed that he was looking for a place to sleep but a quick search of the house and annex revealed that they had been burgled. A bike, which Brittain admitted belonged to him, was found by the house next to an unlocked window with several bags on its handlebars.

The previous occupant’s family attended and confirmed horse brass, two antique clocks, a TV, jewellery, an oil lamp, copper coal scuttles and a water tank were missing.

Brittain, of no fixed abode, was sentenced to 876 days imprisonment at Peterborough Crown Court yesterday (Monday, March 18) after pleading guilty to burglary.

DC Tom Adams said: “Brittain is a prolific burglar who targeted this house because he knew it was empty and thought it would be a quick score.

“I’d like to commend the intuition and actions of the two neighbours which ultimately kept him at the scene of the crime.

“Burglary can have a devastating impact on victims, which is why tackling it is one of our priorities. We are working hard every day to bring offenders before the courts.”

For online burglary prevention advice visit: www.cambs.police.uk/A-Z/Burglary.