Thief flees 30ft down drainpipe after being caught

The thief made his escape by climbing down a drainpipe from the second floor flat in Stewart Terrace. Picture: Julie Bull

The thief made his escape by climbing down a drainpipe from the second floor flat in Stewart Terrace. Picture: Julie Bull

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A ROBBER clambered 30ft down a drainpipe to escape from the flat he was robbing after being cornered by a plucky neighbour.

The daring thief – believed to be aged about 30 – had raided the second-floor flat in Stewart Terrace, Gorgie, at around 8pm on Sunday and was escaping with his haul when he was challenged.

The resident ordered the robber back into the flat and stood guard outside, but when police arrived 15 minutes later the suspect had climbed out of the window and made it down to the street. The resident, a man in his 40s who asked not to be named, said: “I’d heard a crash and went to investigate. I could see the flat door was open, the wood was splintered and I heard shuffling inside.

“I went and dialled 999 and when I returned this man came out carrying two Marks and Spencers bags. I was really shocked but said to him, ‘Have you just broken in’? and he replied, ‘I’ve got a habit’.

“I told him there was no excuse and ordered him to go back into the flat and sit down. He was really compliant and went back in.

“It took 15 minutes for officers to arrive, even though I’d told them the thief was still there. Four officers came and found this man had climbed out the living room window and down the drainpipe.”

The thief, who fled empty-handed, is described as being in his late 20s to early 30s, around 5ft 10in, with dark brown hair cut short, and of average build.

The resident added: “I wasn’t happy police took so long to come. I’ve submitted a complaint about the force’s professional standards.”

A spate of break-ins has hit Gorgie recently, including a brazen thief caught on camera raiding a takeaway just across the road from his home.

Chief Superintendent Mark Williams, divisional commander for Edinburgh, confirmed that a complaint had been received and would be investigated thoroughly.

He said: “Initial inquiries suggest that, on being mobilised, it took officers eight minutes to attend this incident.”