A 27-year-old burglar has been jailed for two and a half years after he stole a can of coke from a property in Hove.
Eclan Ray, of Unity Close, Willesden, London, took the drink from the garage of a house in Yorklands, off Dyke Road Avenue in Hove.
He was arrested near by on Saturday 16 February when officers from Sussex Police found him with his modest haul in his pocket.
Ray was seen acting suspiciously by a workman who was repairing the wall of a large property in Dyke Road Avenue at about 1pm.
The workman followed Eclan and asked him what he was up to.
Eclan told the man that he was looking for work and then walked off towards Yorklands cul-de-sac. The workman called police.
While searching the area, officers from the Hove Neighbourhood Policing Team were approached by the owner of a property in Yorklands.
He told them that he had just seen a stranger walk out of his garage.
The homeowner joined officers in a search of the area and they found Eclan sitting outside the Hilltop Café at the top of Dyke Road Avenue with a can of coke in his pocket.
Inquiries found that the can had not been bought at the café but had been stolen from a multipack in the garage attached to the house in Yorklands.
Detective Constable Scott Elmer, from the Brighton and Hove Priority Crime Unit, said: “It doesn’t matter what you steal from someone’s house, burglary is taken seriously.
“In this case it may have only been a can of coke, but the defendant entered the property with the intent to steal.
“This is not the first time he has committed burglary and the court has clearly taken this into account.
“We are grateful to the workman who was not fobbed off by Eclan’s explanation as to what he was up to and rang 999 so that officers could attend and find him before he disappeared from the area.”
He was jailed after pleading guilty to burglary at Lewes Crown Court.
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