Rocky Brennan, 33, crept into the Sunderland home and stole the victim's car - but his criminal actions were spotted by a local resident
Detectives have thanked an eagle-eyed neighbour for their quick reactions after a sneak-in burglar was convicted of his crimes.
Rocky Brennan, 33, crept into a home on Glenthorpe Avenue, Sunderland, as the occupants were eating tea.
The shameless intruder helped himself to a range of goods – including a wallet, Louis Vuitton handbag and Radley purse containing cash – before grabbing the car keys and heading back to the driveway.
Brennan then searched the car’s glovebox before starting it up and driving away, abandoning the vehicle on nearby Park Lea Road shortly after and making off on foot.
But the prowling menace’s deception was witnessed by a neighbour, who swiftly alerted the victim and directed a police car towards Brennan’s location.
Brennan, of The Crescent, Chester-le-Street, was detained by officers and subsequently charged with a string of offences.
On Friday, August 30, he admitted burglary, taking conveyance without authority, driving whilst disqualified, no insurance use and failing to provide specimen during a hearing at Newcastle Crown Court.
He is due to be sentenced later this year.
Detective Constable Stu Havery, of Northumbria Police’s Southern Burglary Team, heaped praise on the neighbour’s quick reactions after spotting something was not right.
“Burglary is such an intrusive and emotive crime that can have a long-lasting effect on victims and their community as a whole.
“In this case, Brennan’s swift arrest was made possible because a neighbour saw him lurking outside an address and grew suspicious. After alerting the victim, they then tracked Brennan’s movements and assisted officers who swiftly attended the scene.
“I would like to thank the member of the public for following their instinct and helping to take a cynical offender off the streets.
“This case highlights once again that the public are our eyes and ears, and by working together with police, we can ensure criminals such as Brennan are brought to justice.”
After being stopped by police, Brennan was found to be in possession of stolen car keys, a watch, house keys, a Louis Vuitton handbag and a Radley purse containing 300 euros.
Brennan refused to cooperate with police upon interview, but pleaded guilty to all offences when appearing in the dock at Newcastle Crown Court on August 30.
He has been remanded in custody and will be sentenced on a date to be confirmed.
Det Con Havery is part of a group of dedicated burglar hunters who are tasked with reviewing every incident that takes place across Sunderland and South Tyneside.
The team of detectives, based at Southwick Police Station, review prolific offenders and monitor hotspots so they can identify those responsible for burglaries in the area and prevent them from taking place.