A hapless would-be burglar has been spared jail after trying to break in to a garage in Northampton, only to be scared off when he found the owner inside.
Percy Holland, aged 44, was busy removing brackets to gain entry to the property in Abbots Way at around 3.45pm on April 5 this year.
Holland, of St George’s Street, ran off but was arrested nearby a short time later in a van, which turned out to have false number plates.
He pleaded guilty to attempted burglary and fraudulent use of a registration mark and he was sentenced to nine months in prison, suspended for a year, at Northampton Crown Court last month.
Holland was also ordered to pay costs and a victim surcharge totalling £456.
Lead Investigator, PC Becca Tomalin, from Northamptonshire Police burglary team, said: “I am pleased to see Holland convicted of these offences as it sends a message to offenders that we will go after those who are unsuccessful when attempting to burgle as well as those who manage to secure entry.
“Burglary has a really negative effect on victims as your home is the one place where you should feel safe.
“That’s why we have teams in this force dedicated to catching burglars and we will continue working hard to bring offenders to justice.”
Northamptonshire Police revealed last week the number of burglaries in the county has reduced by half in three years since it launched its specialist Operation Crooked team attached to CID.