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18 April 2014, 06:05
A man was caught hours after breaking into an Ely home when the car he had stolen triggered an ANPR camera.
Zachary Smith, 28, of Cranwell Road, Nottingham, broke into the property in Allen Road between 8pm and 11pm on April 4.
He stole a camera, laptop, a handbag, watches and jewellery before making off in the Smart car. The burglary was reported to police and officers put the registration number out as stolen.
In the early hours of the next day, Lincolnshire Police received an ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) activation and an unmarked police car followed the Smart car.
When officers attempted to stop the car, Smith failed to stop, nearly flipped over and ended up in a ditch. He then got out and tried to run away but was found by the officer and arrested. The stolen items were found on the front seat.
Smith had also tried to burgle a house in Henley Way at about 9.45pm on the same day, but was disturbed.
On Monday (April 14) he was jailed for two years and disqualified from driving for 12 months after pleading guilty to attempted burglary, burglary, driving whilst disqualified, no insurance and theft of a motor vehicle.
Detective Constable Paul Symonds said: "Smith did everything he could to avoid being caught and denied his involvement during his interview.
"This is a great example of police work at its finest and it was thanks to the ANPR activation as well as the pursuit by the officer in Nottingham.
"The stolen property has been returned to the victim and Smith is behind bars."