A bungling burglar who was arrested after a disastrous attempt to raid a Lancashire village shop has been caged.
Dominic Burke, 34, and his accomplices smashed into the front of the Spar and Post Office shop in Walmer Bridge, near Preston, on June 28, with a lump hammer, causing £900 damage.
The criminals even lay out a tarpaulin ready to put their loot into, but Preston Crown Court heard they were unable to smash into the cigarette gantry despite two of them trying. The intruders turned their attention to the back of the ATM machine but were unable to get into it.
The desperate thieves then tried to break into the back office to steal cash but once again were defeated.
They fled with a paltry handful of pregnancy tests and a small torch before making their getaway in a stolen Audi A6.
Imposing a 32-month jail term, Judge James Adkin said: “It seems security features within the premises thwarted your ambition.”
The incident was caught on CCTV and by neighbours, who had alerted police. Burke embarked on a cross county car chase with the tests, but the helicopter-led police pursuit was brought to an end when he ran out of petrol in the slow lane and had to abandon the car, which police shunted into the hard shoulder.
Paul Cummings QC, prosecuting, said: “The car was found on the motorway network around Liverpool as they tried to evade arrest.”
Burke, who has has 39 convictions for 23 offences, pleaded guilty to burglary and aggravated vehicle taking.