A swift policing response has led to two men being convicted for stealing from pallets outside a Chichester DIY store.
Just after 9.30pm on Sunday (28 June), officers were alerted by a member of the public to a van being driven into the car park of Homebase in Barnfield Drive, Chichester. Two men were seen leaving the vehicle and heading towards the pallets of stock.
Police swiftly attended the location and spotted the van in question, which had numerous bags of gravel and timber in the back of the vehicle.
Officers conducted an area search and found Billy Harte, 28, of Peerley Close, Chichester, and Martin Roberts, 26, of Fishbourne Road, Chichester. Both attempted to run away from the officers but they were quickly detained.
(From left to right: Billy Harte and Martin Roberts)
Harte was charged with attempted theft, theft, going equipped for theft, drink driving, aggravated vehicle taking and driving without insurance. Roberts was charged with attempted theft, theft and going equipped for theft.
The pair appeared via live link at Brighton Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday (30 June). Harte pleaded guilty to all offences and was given a total of 18-weeks in prison, disqualified from driving for 18 months, driving licence endorsed and ordered to £130 in compensation.
Roberts pleaded guilty to all offences, except going equipped which was dismissed by the court, and he was also sentenced for a previous matter of driving while disqualified and driving without insurance. Roberts was given a 32-week custodial sentence, disqualified from driving for two years and ordered to pay £150 in compensation.
Investigating officer Kym Belding said: “Thanks to a vigilant member of the public officers were able to quickly respond to reports of a burglary at the premises.
“On arrival, officers could see both van doors had been left open and stock supplies had been hastily thrown into the back. Harte and Roberts attempted to evade arrest but our officers acted quickly to ensure justice could be served.
“We would like to thank the member of the public for their support with our investigation and would encourage anyone who sees any suspicious behaviour to report it to us.”