A TEENAGER burgled his next-door neighbour after she asked his parents to keep an eye on her house while she was away.

A passing motorist spotted Daniel Peter Stannard and Alexander Luke Sandor as they raided the house and alerted police who caught Stannard at the scene, York Magistrates Court heard.

Sandor leapt from a rear window and tried to escape through nearby gardens but a police helicopter, using a heat-seeking device, tracked him down to his hiding place in a wheelie bin where he was arrested.

Both burglars were subject to conditional discharges at the time and admitted to a probation officer they took cannabis.

Both received a 20-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months on condition they do 100 hours of unpaid work and 12 months of supervision, and were ordered to pay £85 prosecution costs.

Magistrate Francesca Horsfield, sitting with two colleagues, told the pair the effect of a burglary could be “devastating”.

She said: “Stannard, you breached the trust your neighbour put in your parents and family and Sandor, you went along with that. It is totally unacceptable.”

Stannard’s solicitor Lee-Anne Robins-Hicks said her client felt “acutely embarrassed” by what he had done.

“His parents have also suffered embarrassment over his actions,” she said.

Stannard, 18, of Boroughbridge Road, Acomb, and Sandor, 19, of nearby Manor Road North, Acomb, both pleaded guilty to attempted burglary. Both are unemployed and live with their parents.

Steven Ovenden, prosecuting, said the burglary victim had told her neighbours, including Stannard’s parents, that she was going on holiday.

While she was away, a passing motorist saw a burglar standing by an open bay window inside the victim’s darkened house at 8.15pm on January 5, and another man crouched outside.

“In a very public spirited way, she made contact with the police,” said Mr Ovenden.

Within minutes police arrived. Stannard tried to flee, but only got as far as the front garden.

“Sorry Dad, I’ve gone in next door,” he called out as his father and others went out into the street to see him struggle in the police’s grasp.

Inside, officers found a television, DVD player, sat nav and other equipment had been unplugged and prepared for removal. Both burglars had taken off their shoes so they wouldn’t leave shoemarks, Mr Ovenden said. One window had been forced.

Chris McGrogan, for Sandor, and Miss Robins-Hicks said the burglary had been opportunistic, as the two men had been having a cigarette outside, noticed an open window and decided to go inside. Both solicitors said the offence was out of character and their clients were remorseful.

Magistrates rejected defence claims that the house had not been targeted.

Mr McGrogan said Sandor had worked as a carpet fitter and was now actively seeking work, and was tackling his cannabis use. Miss Robins-Hicks said Stannard had spent two years with the Princes Trust since leaving school at 16 and was hoping to get a job.