A 71-YEAR-OLD man chased a burglar from his angling shop wearing only his underpants.

John Shervington, who runs the Peacehaven Angler, was woken by the sound of splintering wood at 2.30am on Sunday.

He caught sight of a man in a crash helmet forcing his way into the shop. With no time to get dressed, Mr Shervington pursued the intruder down the street in his underwear.

He said: “I wasn’t afraid... I wanted to strangle the b*****d.

“I was absolutely livid. You forget all sort of sense at a time like that. We live on the premises, and I was just fuming that someone could try to break into our home. I was in bed and I came downstairs to see what was going on. I noticed the chap from our kitchen window and he froze when I turned the light on.

“Then he bolted off up the street and I ran after him in my underpants. It wasn’t the cleverest idea. I didn’t chase him far because he was off, probably down a side road.”

Finding himself alone and half-naked on the street in the dead of night, Mr Shervington returned to put on some clothes and then went out hunting for fingerprints. He said: “I got dressed and went down all the roads he could have gone, looking for evidence until the police arrived.”

The incident took place minutes after another attempted burglary in the same street.

Two men, one wearing a motorcycle helmet, tried to hammer their way into an e-cigarette shop only to be smoked out by the store’s zero-visibility fog security system. Police believe the two cases are linked.

A spokeswoman for Sussex Police said: “We received reports of an attempted burglary on South Coast Road, thought to have taken place around 2.30am, just after another on the same street. We turned up as soon as we could and there were signs that someone had tried to force open a doorframe.”

Anyone with information can contact the police on 101 using the reference number 181 14/07.