A DRUNKEN burglar was tracked down and arrested thanks to community-spirited neighbours.
Steven Ball broke into a shed in the garden of a house in Acacia Crescent, Beech Hill, Wigan, on the afternoon of December 13 while the occupants were out.
The next door neighbour heard banging from the shed and looking out saw that the kitchen window of the house had been broken, Michael Wallbank, prosecuting told Liverpool Crown Court.
Another neighbour arrived on the scene and found that the shed had been forcibly entered and items strewn across the garden. He looked through a window and saw an intruder hiding in the hallway.
Ball then rushed out of the house by climbing through the kitchen window and fled but a woman neighbour had also become involved and she followed him and there was an altercation when she caught up with him nearby.
Ball, 32, had been recognised during the incident and he was arrested. The householder returned home later and found that £300 worth of damage had been caused in his home and shed but only £3 cash had been taken.
Ball, of Dell Avenue, Beech Hill, was sentenced to 10 months imprisonment, suspended for two years and ordered to carry out 150 hours unpaid work.
He was placed under supervision for two years with attendance on an alcohol treatment programme.
William Swalwell, defending, said that Ball could not explain his actions that day as he had been drunk. He has no intention of drinking again and regrets his behaviour.