Man who broke into Greggs got stuck on roof and had to be rescued with a cherry picker

Man who broke into Greggs got stuck on roof and had to be rescued with a cherry picker
Police negotiators were called when the criminal refused to give himself up (Photo: Shutterstock)

by Tony Gardner

A criminal who broke into a Greggs bakery on Christmas Eve got stuck on the roof and was caught hiding behind the chimney.

Iain Thompson had to be coaxed down by trained police negotiators after his Yuletide raid of the Leeds city centre branch was foiled when he set off alarms. The 46 year old career burglar forced his way into the bakery on Kirkgate at 9:30pm on December 24 last year.

Once inside, he climbed on top of a safe before making a hole in the ceiling and climbing through it. Thompson then got onto the roof of Home restaurant, which is above the bakery, causing around £2,000 worth of damage.

‘Hiding behind a chimney stack’

Carmel Pearson, prosecuting, said Thompson triggered alarms at both premises.

“The defendant was on the roof and hiding behind a chimney stack,” she said.

Police negotiators were called when Thompson refused to give himself up and threatened to throw himself off the roof.

greggs shutterstock
Prosecutors said the man desperate for money for Christmas as his benefits money had not been paid (Photo: Shutterstock)

He eventually agreed to come down and a cherry picker was used to get him to safety. Officers later discovered an angle grinder and “sophisticated tools” which Thompson had used during the incident.

‘He has let himself down’

Thompson, of Sutherland Terrace, Burmantofts, pleaded guilty to burglary and criminal damage. He has 30 previous convictions for 63 offences, including 27 offences of burglary.

Richard Reed, prosecuting, said Thompson carried out the crime as he was desperate for money for Christmas as his benefits money had not been paid. Mr Reed said Thompson had been looking forward to spending Christmas with his family.

He said, “He is beside himself to find that he is back before the court for this sort of offending.

“He has let himself down and he has let his his family down. He is beside himself with self remorse.” Thompson was jailed for 16 months.

Judge Penelope Belcher said, “This caused huge inconvenience to the police and significant public expense.”

This article originally appeared on our sister site, Yorkshire Evening Post