Footage shows police dog hunt down Dobbies garden centre burglar in soft play area

  • Cambridge Police caught a burglar who broke into a garden centre thanks to a specially-trained dog.

An opportunist burglar who was spotted stealing charity tins from a garden centre was hunted down by a police dog - and eventually cornered in the children's soft play area.

Police dog Vinnie tracked down Ricky Homer in a Dobbies garden centre in Wyton in Cambridgeshire in October, weaving through shelves and the cafe area as he gave chase.

Security teams were alerted after Homer broke into the business just after 10pm and CCTV caught him stealing charity tins from the tills and filling trolleys with goods from the store.

Footage released by the force shows the moment Vinnie's handler let him loose and he set off to catch the 36-year-old.

Homer, of no fixed address, was sentenced to a year in prison on 12 January at Cambridge Crown Court after pleading guilty to burglary and possession of a Class B drug.

Burglar Ricky Homer, 36, who was jailed for a year after being caught in a garden centre soft play centre near Huntingdon. Credit: Cambridgeshire Police

Homer was found in the children's play area red-handed after the chase on 23 October, and arrested by Vinnie's handler.

The charity tins and other items were recovered by officers.

Det Con Neil Patrick, from Cambridgeshire Police, who investigated the crime, said: "Homer is an opportunist burglar with a number of crimes under his belt.

"Thanks to the partnership working of the alarm company and CCTV operators, the officers at the scene and police dog Vinnie, Homer was swiftly arrested and is now behind bars for a year."

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know