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'I was shaking with rage' - engineer confronts New Year's Day burglar reversing car out of drive

PUBLISHED: 06:00 03 January 2019 | UPDATED: 16:33 03 January 2019

Police were called, but the burglar managed to escape on foot having already stolen cash and a bike from the home at Lodge Farm Drive. Photo: Luke Powell

Police were called, but the burglar managed to escape on foot having already stolen cash and a bike from the home at Lodge Farm Drive. Photo: Luke Powell

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A dad-of-one bravely challenged a burglar who attempted to steal his partner’s car just hours into the new year.

Police were called, but the burglar managed to escape on foot having already stolen cash and a bike from the home at Lodge Farm Drive. Photo: Luke PowellPolice were called, but the burglar managed to escape on foot having already stolen cash and a bike from the home at Lodge Farm Drive. Photo: Luke Powell

The 30-year-old caught the thief trying to reverse his partner’s Ford Fiesta out of their driveway at about 3am on January 1 in Old Catton.

In the heat of the moment, the aircraft engineer punched through the vehicle’s windscreen, causing the blundering criminal to panic and stall.

Police were called, but the burglar managed to escape on foot having already stolen cash and a bike from the home at Lodge Farm Drive.

The incident took place while the man’s partner and 18-month-old son were still in bed.

A map showing Lodge Farm Drive's location in Old Catton. Photo: GoogleA map showing Lodge Farm Drive's location in Old Catton. Photo: Google

He said: “It was genuinely awful. Three hours into the new year and our house has been gone through. We feel completely and utterly violated.”

The burglar stole about £50 in cash from Christmas cards, a silver money box which had been gifted to the couple’s son at birth, and an unopened Xbox controller.

A £525 white Merida Ride 88 road bike was also stolen from the shed. The victim believed the bike was taken earlier in the night before the thief returned for the car.

During the raid of the house, the criminal also “pulled apart” their son’s blood monitoring machine which had been kept in the kitchen.

The family’s iPad and Dyson hoover were found on a bin outside.

The man said he was woken shortly before 3am by his dog barking and went to investigate what was going on.

He said: “I went into the kitchen and heard the car start and the engine rev. I then just ran outside.

“As he was pulling out, I almost jumped on the car and banged my hand on the windscreen, which caused it to smash.

“He [the burglar] went very wide-eyed and dropped the clutch and stalled. I think he panicked.

“I then quickly opened the door and pulled the keys out of the ignition. I was shaking with rage.”

He said the burglar, who “reeked” of alcohol, initially waited with him while he called police.

“He was saying it was his mate’s car and that his mate paid him a couple of hundred quid to pick it up,” the man said.

“I said I’m calling police, he said ‘fine, I will stay’.

“But as I got through to police he ran off.”

Norfolk police confirmed they were investigating the incident.

A spokesman said: “Enquiries are on-going and we would appeal for anyone with information to come forward.”

Ten burglaries in two weeks

Police said there had been a series of burglaries in the Broadland and north Norwich areas in the past two weeks.

Ten incidents have been reported in Acle, Drayton, Norwich, Salhouse and Horstead since December 18. In the majority of cases suspects have forced entry by smashing windows or doors.

Local policing commander chief inspector Wes Hornigold said officers were investigating whether the incidents were linked. He said some of the properties targeted had been holiday homes.

He said: “We would urge anyone living in these areas to be vigilant and take the necessary security measures such as ensuring doors and windows are locked.

“Residents can also help us by notifying police about any suspicious activity or behaviour they may witness. You know your communities better than anyone else so will be best placed to notice if something or someone is out of place.”

Where the other burglaries were

A watch and jewellery was stolen from a home in Old Market Close, Acle, on December 18.

Meanwhile, on Friday, December 21 suspects targeted a property overnight in Orchard Bank, Drayton, stealing van keys before taking the vehicle.

Jewellery and watches were stolen from a property in Norwich Road, Horstead, between December 14 and 29.

An untidy search was carried out at a property in Blenheim Crescent in Norwich, targeted on Christmas Day, although police do not believe anything was stolen.

Cash was stolen from a property in Thunder Lane, Thorpe St Andrew, between 1.30pm on Boxing Day and 9.50pm on December 27.

Between December 21 and 27, a property in Barn Piece Close in Salhouse was targeted by burglars who stole jewellery and watches while jewellery and a mobile phone were taken from a house in Woodside Road, Norwich on December 30.

Attempted burglaries were also reported in Ling Way, Coltishall and The Street in Brundall between December 23 and 28.

Police are urging homeowners to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity.

• Anyone with information should contact Norfolk police on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously 0800 555 111.

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