A BURGLAR who broke into a house in Littlehampton was arrested, prosecuted and sentenced in less than 36 hours.
Kashif Judge entered a home in Terminus Road shortly before 8am on Friday. He grabbed clothes and mobile phones before he was disturbed by the woman living there.
The 42-year-old escaped wearing clothes belonging to the woman’s husband.
She gave a description of Judge to police which was quickly circulated among officers out on patrol to try to track him down.
Minutes later, police were called to Tesco in Broadpiece Retail Park, Littlehampton, where Judge had grabbed a bottle of wine from a shelf, taken into the toilets and begun drinking it.
He became aggressive when staff challenged him and police arrived, matching Judge to the description given by the victim in Terminus Road.
Judge was arrested, questioned and then charged with breaking into the house and stealing the wine.
Detective Constable Jon Woolley said: “Judge was still wearing clothing stolen during the burglary when he was found at Tesco.
“The officers were able to match the first description given when he was in the house to the man they had stopped for the wine theft, so Judge was questioned for both offences and admitted them.
“It is a great example of how quickly justice can be done.”
On Saturday, Judge, of Inwood Road, Liss, Hampshire, pleaded guilty to burglary and theft when he appeared at Brighton Magistrates’ Court.
He was given a six-month suspended sentence, ordered to do 150 hours of community service and to pay £85 costs, an £80 victim surcharge and £257.99 compensation.
Sussex Police launched Operation Magpie to tackle burglary across the county.
If you have any information about burglaries or shops selling stolen goods, call 101 or email email@example.com. For crime prevention advice visit www.sussex.police.uk.
If you see or hear a burglary taking place call 999 immediately.
Residents are also being encouraged to register their items on the world’s largest property database so that if they are stolen, they can be reunited with the owners, and so the offenders can be prosecuted.
You can register your property in just a few minutes by visiting www.immobilise.com. To watch a video about Immobilise and how it works, visit www.youtube.com/watch?v=0XZ66WEER_c.
A three-week burglary campaign is currently being run across the region by Sussex, Surrey, Kent and Thames Valley Police - the first time the four forces have worked together to tackle the issue.
Follow the burglary campaign on Twitter using the hashtag #LightLockList.