Three men have been sentenced for burglaries in East Tilbury.
The Co-Op and a nearby storage unit at Stanford House, both in Princess Margaret Road, were broken into in the early hours of April 9 this year.
A member of the public called police, who arrived to find Jamie Dowman, Connor Reeves and Karl Taylor inside the shop. Taylor had tried to hide under the till area.
A petrol strimmer and a transformer unit had been stolen from the storage unit and were found inside a Volkswagen Golf parked in an alleyway nearby.
Reeves, 23, of Central Road, Stanford-le-Hope, was charged with two counts of burglary, possession of a knife blade or sharp pointed article in a public place, and possession of cannabis.
Taylor, 36, of Spencer Walk, Tilbury, was charged with two counts of burglary and possession of cocaine.
Dowman, 37, of Raphael Avenue, Tilbury, was charged with two counts of burglary.
They were sentenced at Basildon Crown Court on Thursday August 5 after admitting the charges at previous hearings.
Taylor was jailed for a total of 15 months for the offences, including unrelated matters of two counts of criminal damage, failing to attend court, dangerous driving, failing to stop after an accident, and driving without insurance and a licence. He was also given a driving ban.
Dowman was jailed for 12 months. Reeves was sentenced to 12 months in prison suspended for two years. He must complete 100 hours of unpaid work and rehabilitation activities.
PC Claudia Vital, of Grays CID, said: “The burglars were caught in the act thanks to the quick thinking actions of a member of the public who rang us and uniformed officers who arrived within minutes of the call.
“The evidence we then gathered of their involvement in these burglaries meant they had no option but to plead guilty.”