A "PROFESSIONAL" burglar who was chased across a university campus by a police dog unit has been jailed.

Nathan Jennings broke into the Co-op branch in Burgess Road, Southampton.

Brandishing a crowbar and wearing red gloves the 28-year-old broke holes through the roof to gain entry, a court heard.

Police arrived on the scene to find the store alarm activated however, the front door “remained secure”.

Officers noticed the "silhouette of a male" towards the rear of the property which backs on to the University of Southampton grounds.

Daily Echo:

They "gave chase" with the assistance of a dog handler and were able to track Jennings during the incident on September 17, 2018.

He was arrested and interviewed the same day but gave a no comment interview.

Jennings of St Denys Road appeared before Southampton Crown Court on Thursday facing a charge of non-dwelling burglary which he pleaded guilty to.

Prosecuting barrister, Shaun Esprit told how crowbars were recovered near the back door of the shop.

Furthermore, approximately £350 in cash had taken from a safe in the manager's office - and which has never been recovered.

Daily Echo:

The ordeal caused a direct financial loss of £350.

However, there was damage to the roof and internal doors.

Meanwhile, a number of shelves and bottles were broken.

The shop was also impacted by a loss of trade.

Jennings' previous convictions include a burglary in 2008 and conspiracy to commit burglary the same year.

Defending, Mark Florida-James argued how he had pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity.

Furthermore, at the time, Jennings had been out of work and struggling financially.

During sentencing Judge Henry said the burglary was "planned and executed in a professional way" and that it was "targeted".

Jennings "clearly knew what he was after" and was jailed for 14 months.

His girlfriend left the courtroom in tears as he was sent down.