Brave dad and sons grab burglar and force him to hand back loot after catching him breaking into shed
A BRAVE father and his sons tackled a burglar minutes after they raided their shed.
John Leonard and his sons Steven, aged 22, and Thomas, aged 17, chased and grabbed the burglar after he tried to steal a bag of shampoo and milkshakes from their shed in the early hours of the morning.
The three were asleep at their home in Fairmount Avenue, Breightmet, when they were woken by the thief.
Mr Leonard, who works for E.ON, said: “My sons came out with me and they were in their boxer shorts. I said to the man “that’s my bag” and he said it wasn’t.
“Thomas grabbed him and I got the bag off him. He looked shocked. He said he lived in Deepdale Road and said it was two other men who burgled us.”
The 43-year-old and his wife, Tracy, aged 42, heard the sound of a wheelie bin being moved at the side of their home in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
When they looked outside they saw a man shining a torch on a neighbour’s drive, looking into cars.
Two other men, believed to be with the thief, were also on the road and were seen flicking through a magazine — but disappeared shortly afterwards.
Mrs Leonard, a teaching assistant, said: “They were so brazen. There was quite a commotion. We were laughing after thinking about what they had taken and how cheeky they were but it’s a shame as there are elderly people in the area who wouldn’t be able to deal with things like that.”
The burglar left a footprint on the family’s wheelie bin and removed a panel of glass from the window of their shed.
They believe he was going to return with his associates to try to steal more. Crime scene investigators have searched the scene for fingerprints.
The couple praised the police, who arrived within minutes of an emergency call being made.
But the criminals had fled.
The break-in follows a scooter being stolen from the family’s drive last month. It was found the following day damaged beyond repair. Several other sheds have been targeted on the road with alcohol being among the items taken.
Mr Leonard has now installed an alarm on his shed.
The burglar is described as being aged in his 40s. The two other men are described as being late 30s. One had a baseball cap, a grey top and three-quarter length checked shorts. The other man had a grey hoodie with white writing on the back, tracksuit bottoms with orange stripes and a shaved or bald head.
Police are investigating.
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