Catflap burglar snared after homeowner watched break-in live on her phone and called police

A frightened homeowner witnessed a serial burglar breaking into her home live on her phone after he stole the keys through a cat flap.

The victim was away from the property in Dagenham, Essex, but raised the alarm after watching CCTV footage of Daniel Meade, 43, walking down a side path and climbing through a bush before approaching the back door.

Meade targeted the address around 5.30pm on 27 August this year before stealing items including perfume, toy figurines and a handbag.

He is seen in the footage dressed in a black vest and trousers, carrying a pink bag as he leaves the property.

He then attempted to make his escape but was ambushed by police who arrested him at the scene.

Meade, of Havering, Essex, has a "long history of offending including burglary offences", police said.

He was jailed for three years at Snaresbrook Crown Court on 27 October after admitting burglary and was also fined £228.

PC Adam Sparrow, of the Metropolitan Police's East Area Command Unit, said: "This was a very frightening ordeal for the victim who was not at home but was able to see him via CCTV.

"She called us and we were quickly on the scene to arrest him.

Urging the public to be aware of opportunistic burglaries, PC Sparrow added: "I would advise Londoners to keep storage of their personal items well out of sight and reach of any thieves, as well as investing in deterrents such as lighting and CCTV - the availability of which left Meade with no choice but to plead guilty."

Sky News revealed how just six per cent of burglaries are solved by police in England and Wales - although in Manchester, arrests related to burglaries have risen by 52% in the last 12 months.

In October all 43 chief constables from both nations pledged to attend "all at home burglaries" for the first time in an attempt to build confidence in officers.