Watch the moment a ‘prolific’ burglar is caught red handed on CCTV after florist break-in went wrong

A “prolific” East Durham burglar was caught just minutes after breaking into a florist’s in Easington.

Michael Johnston broke into In Bloom Florists, in Easington, creeping through the shop’s rear door just before 7am on Thursday (January 5).

He took an animal sanctuary charity tin, loose change and a ribbon, but when the shop’s CCTV alerted the owner to the break-in, they called police straight away and officers caught Johnston, crowbar in hand, just seven minutes later.

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The 43-year-old, of Wordsworth Road, Easington, was arrested on suspicion of burglary and was taken to Peterlee custody while CSI detectives gathered forensic evidence to build the case.

The burglar was caught red handed.

Durham Police has said that despite a ‘no comment’ interview, Peterlee’s Volume Crime Team detectives charged Johnston with dwelling burglary.

He was remanded to court on Friday morning (January 6) where he pleaded guilty to the charge.

He is expected to appear at Newcastle Magistrates’ Court for sentencing on Monday, January 16.

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Inspector Darren Wild, of Peterlee CID, said: “Johnston is a prolific burglar in our area and thanks to the owner’s speedy report, was caught in the act on his way out of the premises.

“Detectives worked around-the-clock to make sure all evidence was secured and he was put before the courts at the earliest opportunity.

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“Clearly he knew the game was up when the evidence was stacked against him and we are pleased for the victim that he has pleaded guilty.”

For tips on how to protect your business from criminals, visit https://www.durham.police.uk/.../Cri.../Business-advice.aspx