A BUNGLING burglar spent 14 hours hiding in a loft after crashing through a store roof in the middle of the night.
To avoid capture, Mark Roddis, 28, climbed back into the roof space and made peepholes in the ceiling to observe staff below going about their business.
When he thought all the staff had left for the day and believed it was safe to escape he dropped down again – only to find himself trapped in a storeroom.
Sheffield Crown Court heard desperate gambling addict Roddis raided the store to try to stave off his mounting £27,000 gambling debts.
It was the second time the hapless burglar failed to get cash after raiding shop premises – he abandoned an earlier break-in elsewhere when he set off an alarm.
Prosecutor David Wain, said Roddis from Dinnington, Rotherham, who admitted burglary and possessing a bladed article, broke into Heron Foods in Dinnington at 4am on October 19 last year.
He managed to find a soft spot on the roof where water had damaged the surface, made a hole and jumped down but the next layer was plaster board and he went crashing into the shop.
Mr Wain said Roddis climbed back into the loft and remained there all day viewing the comings and goings below him through two eyeholes in the ceiling.
When he thought the staff had left after the shop closed at 6pm he dropped down only to set off the alarm. Staff found him in a secure area of the storeroom.
Dermot Hughes, defending, said it was a “curious case” where Roddis had gone equipped for burglary but apart from stumbling across petty cash it was difficult to know what he was hoping to find.
Judge Alan Goldsack said it was not the first time Roddis had done something “both criminal and stupid” and he had been given a chance after the last similar offence four years previously.
Roddis was given 30 weeks in prison suspended for two years and was ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid community work.