Footage captured on CCTV cameras at the property in the Burmantofts area of Leeds shows him carrying off a power drill and strimmer before screwing the window back into its frame and carefully shutting the gate behind him.
The determined burglar had tried and failed to open the shed door, which is alarmed, and was unfazed by a light outside the house shining down on him throughout the break-in at Gargrave Place on April 6.
He even looks directly up at the camera at one point, keeping his hand across most of his face to conceal his identity.
Victim Terry Bowers, 69, said he realised something was amiss later that morning when he saw a crack in the window.
Scrolling back through footage recorded overnight on his CCTV system, he was stunned to see the lengths to which the burglar had gone.
“It’s just so brazen,” he said. “The outdoor light comes on when it gets dark in the evening and he isn’t bothered. To actually put the glass back and screw it down, that tells me he was going to come back.
“He pulls all the mesh back to make it appear as if nothing has happened. If he hadn’t cracked the window, we’d have been none the wiser. He even shuts the gate on his way out.”
Terry’s son, Chris Bowers, said they spent most of the next two nights keeping watch in case the burglar returned.
“We went to bed early, got up in the early hours and sat up all night,” he said. “You think they’ve gone to that extent for the shed, what will they do to get into your house?
“I feel sorry for the police, I really do. The criminals out there know that they’re stretched and they’re getting more brazen.”
A West Yorkshire Police spokesman said: “Enquiries remain ongoing following a burglary at a property on Gargrave Place, Burmantofts on April 6.
It is believed the offence took place between 4.55am and 5.25am after suspects broke into a shed in the garden of the property.”
Anyone who has information about the break-in or who has been offered a Draper power drill in a grey case or a Stihl strimmer is asked to call Leeds District Police on 101, quoting crime number 13180161951.
CRIME PREVENTION ADVICE
- Make sure shed door, door frame and walls are solid.
- Replace any damaged or rotten areas of the shed with new sections.
- Try to have the shed door facing your home and not too close to garden walls or gates.
- Keep valuable items in a strong lockable box or cage.
- Fit two closed shackle padlocks on strong padlock hasps – one a third of the way up from the bottom of the door and one a third of the way down from the top.
- Fit wire mesh or bars on the inside of your windows.
- Use a strong chain to secure garden tools, lawn mowers and bikes to the shed wall using a padlock or a ground anchor fixed to the base of the shed.