A QUICK-THINKING Netherton neighbour has been praised by cops for helping catch a smash and grab raider red handed.

Prolific crook Christopher Burchell was nabbed at a house in Halton Street after being heard smashing a rear window on the afternoon of February 17.

A neighbour dialled 999 and officers surrounded the property while Burchell was still inside.

When the 43-year-old, of no fixed address, realised there was no escape he emerged with both arms held out ready to be handcuffed by waiting officers.

Detective Constable Craig Brewer, from West Midlands Police, said: “A neighbour heard smashing glass and immediately reported their suspicions to police; that quick call meant we could get officers to the scene in minutes and catch Burchell in the act.”

Burchell, who was last week jailed for four years, admitted the Netherton burglary plus two other homes in Chelmsley Wood and Castle Vale.

He also asked for six other break-ins − five in Chelmsley Wood and the other in Tile Cross − to be taken into consideration by the judge at Wolverhampton Crown Court.

Dc Brewer added: “None of the properties were occupied at the time − but we understand the emotional and psychological scars from a burglary can be long-standing.

“Four years is a significant sentence but we’re considering lodging an appeal to the court because we believe Burchell’s offending warrants a longer spell of detention."