Burglar disturbed by neighbour was ‘living’ in Portchester home

  • Neighbour checking on house encountered bizarre burglar
  • Man had been living in the house for two days
  • Owner found crumpled bed sheets, cupboards ransacked and family heirlooms stolen
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A BURGLAR lived in a house for two days before he was caught red-handed by a neighbour looking after the home.

Shocked Brigette Cowan has told how a friend confronted the topless man aged in his 20s at her dead mother’s home in Portchester.

It’s disgusting, he’s a lowlife, it’s saddening to know that someone has been there

Brigette Cowan

She said the friend had been keeping an eye on the three-bedroom semi-detached house when she went inside and confronted the burglar.

Brigette, 52, said he even had the audacity to tell her friend he was looking after the house and gave his name as Jamie Dumper – her mother’s surname he read on post.

The youngster had whacked the heating on high despite the heatwave, eaten Marks and Spencer’s food, left open packets in the kitchen, and drunk expensive wine from the cupboards.

Cigarette ash and crumpled sheets were found on Brigette’s late 82-year-old mother Joy’s bed, indicating he had been sleeping there.

The house was also left stinking of smoke.

Brigette, of Whiteley, said: ‘He said he was asked to look after the house and check nothing got broken.

‘It’s disgusting, he’s a lowlife, it’s saddening to know that someone has been there.’

After the exchange on Thursday morning at 8.50am he ran upstairs and fled the Castle Street home having stolen cherished family heirlooms.

Brigette, whose mum died in November, added: ‘All in all it’s like I’m having another bereavement, going through it all again and knowing someone has gone through my stuff. We had to do a lot of clearing up.

‘It could have been a lot worse but it was bad enough.’

Brigette had £50 she had been saving to give her sons Daniel, 19, and Ashley, 14, for their holiday.

Daniel was also upset after the burglar took boxed matchbox cars his grandfather Des Dumper, 79, saved for him before his death in 2004.

Brigette added: ‘My dad left them for my son.’

She added: ‘He was heartbroken.’

Two oil paintings, one of a Spitfire and one of a Hurricane plane, were among Second World War memorabilia stolen by the burglar.

Royal Dalton Spitfire plates were also taken, along with collectible six Stief teddy bears made for special occassions worth around £200 each.

Brigette added: ‘They’d been there all their lives, 60 years – they had a burglar when they first moved in, that was the only one.’

Neighbours had seen the back car port left open on Tuesday but thought nothing of it until the man was spotted on Thursday.

A back ground floor window had been smashed.

The suspect was white, in his late teens to early 20s, 5ft 10ins tall, of medium build and was wearing a baseball cap.

Call police on 101.