I considered the humour section for this, but it's not that funny, especially for the burglar! Strictly speaking, the police were outside their jurisdiction, but made a citizen's arrest.
Fri 27 Feb 2004
Officers on visit to flat catch thief red-handed
A THIEF has been caught red-handed after sneaking into a city centre flat while two police officers were inside taking a statement.
The plain clothes detectives came face-to-face with the burglar as he tried to escape with his haul.
The thief was so surprised he even demanded to see the officers' identification before being arrested.
The two officers from North Yorkshire - visiting the Capital to interview a man in connection with an English inquiry - were enjoying a cup of tea in the Bank Street flat when the drama unfolded.
Detective Constable Gary Treweek and Pc Joanne Fawcett had been taking a statement from the man when noises were heard coming from another room.
The man went out into the hall and told the officers a stranger was coming out of his flatmate's bedroom.
Dc Treweek ventured into the hall and found the thief holding two bags full of electrical equipment, alcohol and toiletries.
After apprehending him, the two officers, who are based in Northallerton, flagged down a passing Lothian and Borders Police traffic car and asked them for help.
A 32-year-old man was later arrested and charged and a report was submitted to the procurator fiscal.
Today, Dc Treweek said he thought it was the householder playing a practical joke on his flatmate.
He said: "To be honest at first we thought he was having a joke and was trying to get his flatmate arrested."
"The man did not seem to believe we were police officers and I had to show him my warrant card a few times before he realised we were officers but were from England."
"We managed to retrieve the goods and my colleague, Joanne, kept a hold of him while I went outside and alerted local police officers who took over."
Dc Treweek, who said he could not discuss the case he was investigating, said he had to provide a statement to the Lothian officers after the incident on Tuesday.
He added: "It was a bit ironic considering I was here to take a statement from someone."
"I think the burglar was surprised to find two police officers in the place he was robbing."
The 32-year-old officer, who last visited the Capital four years ago on his honeymoon, said the owner of the flat was "thankful" they had been there. He said: "Initially, he just wanted the guy out of his flat and was quite pleased we were there."
He said colleagues in North Yorkshire were surprised by his adventure in the Capital and added: "I'll be visiting Edinburgh again, but as a tourist, because I think they have plenty of police officers of their own."
A spokesman for Lothian and Borders Police praised the actions of Dc Treweek and Pc Fawcett and said: "I suspect these two officers did not imagine for a minute they would end up catching someone in the act while they were here on their own inquiry."
"It was also quite a shock for the man to be confronted by the two officers."
The spokesman added: "This is a fine example of the co- operation between police officers from different forces."