Bersted burglar convicted after hiding in wardrobe

Police.
Police.

A burglar who hid in a wardrobe at a property in Bersted has been convicted over two incidents.

Police revealed Jan Van Der Sleen, 49, unemployed and of no fixed address, appeared in court on Tuesday following his arrest on February 6 after a swift response by neighbours.

A spokesman said the neighbours heard noise from a house in Kelmscott Way, Bersted, and saw a man breaking in. They knew the occupants were away on holiday and dialled 999.

“Police arrived less than ten minutes later, searched the house and arrested a man they found hiding in an upstairs walk-in wardrobe.”

The next day Van Der Sleen appeared at Crawley Magistrates’ Court and pleaded guilty to the burglary and to going equipped to steal with a hammer and a crowbar, police confirmed.

However, police said, Van Der Sleen pleaded not guilty to another burglary in nearby Ruskin Way earlier the same morning in which some earrings were stolen.

Van Der Sleen was originally remanded in custody to appear at Hastings Magistrates’ Court on February 27 in relation to both matters, this was later adjourned to Horsham Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday (March 13) where he was found guilty, the Crown Prosecution Service confirmed.

The case has been committed to Portsmouth Crown Court for sentencing on April 13.