TWO men were spotted helping themselves to bags of gravel and timber from a DIY store.

Billy Harte and Martin Roberts drove a van to the store in Barnfield Drive, Chichester and headed towards pallets of stock at 9.30pm on June 28.

Police were called and arrived soon after, and found a van stuffed with the stolen goods, while Harte, 28, and Roberts, 26, tried to run off from officers, but were caught.

They appeared via video link at Brighton Magistrates’ Court this week and were both jailed.

Harte, of Peerley Close, Chichester, admitted attempted theft, going equipped for theft, drink-driving, aggravated vehicle taking, and driving without insurance. He was sentenced to 18 weeks in prison. He was ordered to ay £130 in compensation and banned from driving for 18 months.

Roberts, of Fishbourne Road, Chichester, admitted attempted theft and was sentenced to 32 weeks in prison, with a two-year driving ban for a previous charge of driving while banned.

Investigating officer Kym Belding said: “Thanks to a vigilant member of the public officers were able to quickly respond to reports of a burglary at the premises.

“On arrival, officers could see both van doors had been left open and stock supplies had been hastily thrown into the back. Harte and Roberts attempted to evade arrest but our officers acted quickly to ensure justice could be served.

“We would like to thank the member of the public for their support with our investigation and would encourage anyone who sees any suspicious behaviour to report it to us.”