A BUNGLING burglar hired a taxi to make his getaway from the crime scene – and even tried to pay the driver with stolen goods.
Anthony Thacker was drunk when he broke into the property in Elm Grove, Southsea, while the occupant was in hospital.
He fled with a flatscreen TV, a gold watch and a DVD player.
Thacker then booked a taxi to collect him from the flat under the fake name Mr Smith.
When he arrived at his destination in Somers Town, Portsmouth, Thacker, 33, claimed he had no money to pay the fare.
Instead he offered the driver the gold watch and DVD player as payment.
The driver declined but Thacker left the stolen goods in the car and fled with the 50in plasma TV he had taken from the living room wall of the flat he had burgled.
The taxi driver called police and Thacker, from Bosham Road, Copnor, Portsmouth, was caught.
It transpired that Thacker had taken the stolen TV to another property, in Sedgeley Close, Somers Town, Portsmouth, where he damaged a kitchen window trying to get it in and back out of the building.
Both crimes were committed on February 6.
Simon Privett, defending, said in mitigation: ‘He pleaded guilty at the first opportunity. He expresses through me his considerable regret.
‘He said he was drunk at the time.
‘He is now in custody in Winchester prison.
‘He has had the taste of custody.’
Thacker, who has 28 previous convictions for 62 offences, pleaded guilty to one count of burglary and one of criminal damage.
He was sentenced to 12 months in jail suspended for two years.
Thacker was put under supervision for a year.
Recorder David Bartlett, sentencing, at Portsmouth Crown Court, said: ‘The fact that the premises were empty clearly assists you in what you stole but it does mean you are not going to frighten any occupant on the premises when you burgle it as you did.
‘You did not damage the property or soil it in any way.’
He added: ‘I’m told you regret what you did and you were drunk.
‘Drunkenness is no mitigation for these offences.
‘People don’t want drunk burglars clambering into their houses or flats.’