A BURGLAR faces three years behind bars after a have-a-go hero caught him raiding her neighbour’s house.

A top Basildon judge praised the quick-thinking actions of Sue Romsey, 45, after she spotted thieves Michael Perry, 33, and Stephen Sayer, 32, preying on her elderly neighbours’ house.

Eagle-eyed Ms Romsey, 45, caught the thieves casing her neighbours’ house in Devonshire Road, Laindon, on November 27.

After seeing Sayer disappear around the back of her neighbours’ house she quickly phoned police.

Basildon Crown Court heard on Friday, that while out of sight Sayer smashed a rear french door, ransacked the elderly couple’s bedroom and stole jewellery.

When he emerged from the house he and Perry left, followed secretly by Ms Romsey.

She tailed them in her car while giving a running commentary to police on the phone, but lost them after they cut down a back alley.

The court heard Ms Romsey returned to the house to wait for the police to arrive.

Moments later, Perry and Sayer returned to ransack the house for a second time.

The pair fled again after a PCSO arrived on foot.

But Ms Romsey chased Sayer down the street in her car and drove up on the pavement in front of him forcing him to stop.

A police officer swooped in and detained him while other officers apprehended Perry.

Sayer, of Tillingham Green, Basildon, was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison for burglary, criminal damage and breach of suspended sentence.

His accomplice, Perry, of Paxfords, Laindon, was handed a 15-month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months for the burglary.

Judge David Owen-Jones, said: “If it were not for the determined actions and observations of Sue Romsey you would have got away with it.

“Fortunately the jewellery stolen was recovered by officers.”

Both Perry and Sayer admitted the charge of burglary at an earlier hearing.