A MAN wearing only his boxer shorts chased an intruder from his Sheffield home after his screaming girlfriend woke to find a burglar in the living room.
The 28-year-old raced downstairs and armed himself with a peppermill and a meat cleaver after his horrified girlfriend, 34, woke on the settee to find a man unplugging their Xbox.
The terrifying break-in on Holmhirst Road, Woodseats, in the early hours of yesterday was the third on the same street since Sunday.
Police said the intruder sneaked in through an unlocked door – but the couple said additional locks on their conservatory door, fitted after a previous break-in, had been wrenched.
The 28-year-old told The Star: “My girlfriend woke to see somebody taking the cable out of the Xbox, just feet from where she had fallen asleep on the settee.
“Her laptop and her iPhone, which were right next to her when she fell asleep, had also been moved. She screamed and shouted, ‘What are you doing?’ before yelling, ‘Burglar, burglar’.
“He ran out as I ran down the stairs just in my boxer shorts, so I grabbed the first thing I found to hand in the kitchen – a peppermill and a meat cleaver – and chased after him but he was gone.
“My girlfriend was scared. She said he had been wearing a hood and some kind of scarf.”
The man, who doesn’t want to be named, said: “We’ve talked to neighbours, one of whom was in the shower when they were burgled, so whoever is doing it is so brazen. They are breaking into homes regardless of whether you are in or not.”
Yesterday, extra police officers were on patrol in Woodseats, checking for unlocked doors.
Inspector Ian Stubbs, of the Woodseats and Gleadless Valley Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: “There have been three reported burglaries on Holmhirst Road this week and all three were sneak-ins.
“In the latest incident, one of the occupants woke to find an intruder in the lounge.
“In response to this series of offences on the same street, and because of an increase in sneak-ins across Sheffield, we ran Operation Hello in Woodseats yesterday.
“It involved officers checking doors and entering homes which they found unlocked to say ‘hello’ to the occupants inside.
“The aim is to make residents realise just how easy it can be for an intruder to get into their home – an open door is an open invitation to opportunistic thieves.
“These offenders are in and out within seconds, and tend to leave very little forensic evidence behind.
“They try a door and grab keys, bags, wallets, laptops – anything they can quickly grab, whether someone is at home at the time or not.”
He urged residents to keep their doors locked at all times.
“The message we have to get across is that people need to keep their doors locked at all times, whether they are in or out.
“There are people out there on the lookout for easy pickings.”
Houses on the same street were burgled during the day on Monday, and on Sunday night.
Police are also investigating a sneak-in burglary at a house on Wath Road, Nether Edge, which was burgled when a door was left unlocked on Tuesday night.
And two men forced a door to burgle a house on Meersbrook Park Road, Meersbrook, at 5.20pm on Monday.
One was white and aged around 26, and the other Asian and was around 20.
Call South Yorkshire Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.