The efforts of an off-duty officer have led to a man being jailed for stealing hundreds of pounds from an elderly woman.
At Leicester Crown Court on Friday (May 20), Michael Elkerton, of no fixed address, was sentenced to five years and three months in prison after he pleaded guilty to the burglary.
He was caught after Sergeant Dave Gott spotted the 39-year-old acting suspiciously while out walking in Asfordby, Melton Mowbray, during the evening of Monday, April 4.
After observing him exiting the grounds of the church in Church Lane, Sgt Gott – who is part of the Dedicated Neighbourhood Team (DNT) in Melton, contacted the police control room.
Just a few minutes prior, a call had been received to report a burglary at an address nearby – around a 15-minute walk away.
The victim – a woman in her 90s, had around £300 in cash and her bank card stolen from her home.
Officers were immediately deployed to the area. While they were on route, Sgt Gott saw the defendant enter a nearby pub.
A short time later Elkerton noticed police outside and ran from the back entrance of the pub in a bid to escape. He was chased by Sgt Gott and a number of officers on duty, before being arrested in Whitlock Way by a fellow officer from the DNT.
Following Elkerton’s arrest, he was searched and found with the cash and the victim’s bank card.
Sgt Gott said: “It was just by chance I was out walking in the area where Elkerton had just committed the offence.
“When I saw him acting suspiciously near the village church, it immediately stuck me that something wasn’t quite right. I called the force control room and officers were sent to the area.
“Once Elkerton was aware police were nearby he tried to escape but after a short chase he was apprehended. I’m glad that thanks to the efforts of all of the officers involved on the night and the subsequent investigation, justice has now been served.”
DC Natasha Perkins, who was in charge of the investigation, said: “Elkerton entered the premises uninvited and stole cash from the elderly woman.
“It’s thanks to Sgt Gott we were able to arrest him so quickly after the offence and Elkerton has now been sentenced for his crime.”
Sgt Gott recently celebrated 20 years of service with the force. Picture: Leicestershire Police