Police drove straight past an electrical store with a smashed window twice as it was being raided by burglars, it has emerged.
The thieves smashed the front window of Essex Electronics in Clacton, Essex, to gain entry before helping themselves to laptops and cash.
But amazing CCTV footage captured by the storeâ€™s cameras revealed one of the burglars crouching down as a police car drove past, whilst his accomplice stood by as a look-out.
A few minutes later another police car is seen passing the shop.
Shop owner Gareth Hanna was shocked after realising how the police had twice missed the chance to snare the criminals and has criticised the police for failing to act.
He said: â€˜I am really disgusted by the lack of common sense shown here. The window of the shop was broken and there was a look-out keeping watch, so it should have stood out like a sore thumb.â€™
The stunned shop owner has criticised the policeâ€™s actions over the early morning raid.
He added: â€˜At one point the burglars even turned the lights on but no-one noticed. At the time of the incident, there were temporary traffic lights set up near the shop so anyone would think the police would have had to slow down anyway.â€™
Mr Hannaâ€™s CCTV footage was handed to police.
They later arrested a man seen in the footage and charged him with the burglary that happened on September 30.
Donal Oâ€™Regan, 51, from Clacton, was jailed for six months when he appeared before Colchester Magistratesâ€™ Court on October 1.
Police found Oâ€™Regan with one of the laptops but the other stolen ones remain missing, as does the cash which was pinched during the raid.
But Mr Hanna is furious at how officers dealt with the case â€“ and claims they never would have had the result had it not been for him collecting and presenting evidence to them.
He said: â€˜This should be the safest shop in the town â€“ it is close to the police station and their patrol cars drive past here all the time.
â€˜Yet this chap was so brazen when he was burgling us that he even turned the lights on and still nobody thought to stop and take a look.â€™
Mr Hanna said he had been left insulted when the officer dealing with the case claimed police had done a good job.
He said: â€˜The police have handled it really badly â€“ what should have been a really simple job has been a mess.
â€˜I spoke to the officer on the phone to complain and she turned round and told me â€œwe have handled this wellâ€.
â€˜I have never been so insulted in all my life â€“ I told her â€œall the evidence you have got â€“ I have given it to youâ€.
Mr Hanna claims that his statement was lost meaning the court was not given details of the stolen goods â€“ so no compensation order was made by the court.
The frustrated shop owner has complained to the Essex Police and Crime Commissioner Nick Alston, whose office is now investigating.
A total of six laptops were stolen, along with 25 watches and Â£40 petty cash left in the till overnight.
An Essex Police spokeswoman said: â€˜We have completed an investigation and somebody was charged. Our advice to this gentleman is that if he is unhappy, he should go through the official channels with a complaint to the professional standards department.â€™
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