BURGLARS attempted to raid a jeweller’s shop by smashing a hole through a wall from a neighbouring takeaway.

But the pair of thieves were caught after a passer by alerted police and officers clambered up onto the building’s roof to arrest them.

Bolton Crown Court heard how, at around 4am on May 16, two men in black clothing were spotted on the roof of Howarth Jewellers, Market Street, Little Lever.

Duncan Wilcock, prosecuting, told how police arrived 15 minutes later.

“Both defendants were arrested on top of the roof,” he said.

“The officers were able to clamber up onto the roof itself and arrested both defendants.”

The officers also found equipment on the roof which has been used in a break-in at the adjoining Turkish Grill take-away, including a crow bar, wire cutters, a torch, sledge hammer, screwdriver, gloves and a balaclava.

Staff had locked the takeaway at 12.30am but when they returned during the day they found machines had been moved away from wall.

“They also discovered a hole, which was 2ft by 1ft wide, going into the jeweller’s next door," said Mr Wilcock.

This Is Lancashire: Hole in wallHole in wall

The thieves had removed CCTV hard drives, snatched money from the till and the premises had been sprayed with bleach.

Damage at both premises amounted to several thousand pounds.

In a victim statement, jewellery shop owner Michael Howarth said he had been “traumatised, upset and angry” by the break-in.

Michael Farrar, aged 33, of Lydgate Walk, Whitefield, and Christopher Basnett, aged 30, of Cuckoo Lane, Prestwich, pleaded guilty to burglary at the Turkish Grill and attempted burglary at Howarth Jewellers.

The court heard that both men, who each have previous convictions, had been made subject to an electronically tagged curfew while awaiting sentence.

Joshua Bowker, defending Farrar, urged Judge Timothy Stead not to jail him immediately, stressing that his time spent on curfew already is the equivalent of a nine month prison sentence.

Window cleaner Basnett, who represented himself, told the judge: "I'm sorry. I feel horrified about what I have done really."

Judge Stead told him that a pre-sentence report compiled about him was favourable.

"Some of the things said about you are really quite good. You have shown a much more responsible attitude since committing these offences," he said.

"I think, at 30, with family responsibilities, you are probably mature enough to make a go of things."

"Can we please let this be an end to it?" Judge Stead asked Basnett.

"Certainly," the defendant replied.

Both men were sentenced to a community order for 12 months and ordered to undertake 100 hours of unpaid work plus 25 days of rehabilitation activities.

They were warned that if they do not obey the terms of the order then they can be brought back to court and re-sentenced.

Speaking after the sentencing, Turkish Grill owner Muhammad Sayyaz said he had been shocked when he saw the damage.
“It was terrible. All my machinery  was chucked on the floor and some of it was properly damaged,” he said.