Rooftop runner plunged 20ft after raid on home
Thief’s desperate escape bid fails to foil cops
A dad was caged yesterday after breaking into a house before trying to escape over rooftops and plunging 20ft.
James McCaig, 37, was spotted trying to jemmy open a window before smashing it.
He legged it through gardens and on to a builders yard roof before falling and being pinned down by workers.
The yob was jailed for 17 months after he admitted forcing his way into the home at Paisley Sheriff Court.
Prosecutor Margaret McCallum told how a neighbour saw him forcing his way in before he tumbled to the pavement with a haul of stolen cash.
She said: “Police made their way to the rear and saw the accused standing in the garden near the basement level window. It had been smashed open.
“The officers approached and instructed him to stop, but he made off on foot.
“He went through a back garden and over a wall and on to the roof of Newmac Asphalt.
“He made it to the far end of the roof and tried to make his way down a drain pipe.
“He fell about 15 to 20ft and landed on the ground.
“Two employees came out to investigate the noise and saw him fall.
“Officers shouted to ask them to detain him until they could come around.”
McCaig targeted the property in Oakshaw Street East, Paisley, less than an hour after stealing from a nearby Keystore.
He waited until staff were distracted by binmen, then grabbed scratch cards and swiped £390 from a jacket hanging in an office.
The thief – a regular customer at the Well Street business – dipped the coat before being caught rummaging for more cash around 6.45am on November 17.
Ms McCallum added: “Mr Iqbal opened the Keystore – he’s the assistant manager.
“He heard the accused offer to help, he declined and finished dealing with the rubbish.
“A couple of minutes later, he went into the office and found the accused going through cupboard and boxes.
“He confronted the accused and noticed he was holding a money bag containing £100 in £5 notes.
“He took the money back and told him to leave.”
McCaig was found with the stolen money and four books of lottery scratch cards after falling in Hunter Street.
He was also rapped after he pled guilty to breaking into a shed and stealing a bike in Ivy Gardens July 19.
And he also copped to trying to kick his way into the Carphone Warehouse at the Phoenix Retail Park during a botched break-in the same day.
Defence lawyer David Nicholson admitted his client had been hooked on heroin and had taken 30 street Valium before stealing from the shop.
He said: “He has sought solace in illicit substances.
“He has a child, a seven-yearold.
“He recognises the difficulties this is causing his daughter.
“He knows he cannot continue in the manner he has.”
Sheriff Seith Ireland warned McCaig, of Waverley Road, there was no alternative but to send him to prison.
He said: “I have to have regard, not just to your personal circumstances, but to the interests of the public.
“You were taking drugs when you committed these offences. “But it is my view the safety of the public at large is paramount.”
Jailed James McCaig