BURGLARS caused more than £2,000 of damage when they tried to steal a boiler and copper piping from an empty flat.

Jack Ramsey and an accomplice flooded the Redcar property and one below it after breaking in and tampering with the water system.

Police were called to the flats in Queen Street and found the pair coming down the stairs “soaking wet”, said prosecutor Amrit Jandoo.

Teesside Crown Court heard that water damage was caused to two unoccupied flats and an office – with a repair bill of £2,095 – and piping worth £360 had been ripped from the system.

Ramsey, of Tenby Road, Redcar, admitted burglary and criminal damage, and was given a 16-month suspended prison sentence.

Judge Howard Crowson also imposed an electronic tag curfew between 7pm and 7am, and ordered the 20-year-old to do 200 hours of unpaid community work and pay £250 compensation.

He told Ramsey: “You have come very close to a custodial sentence.

“This was a determined burglary, committed by you with another man who has a great deal more experience, judging by his record. You should stay clear, but that’s a choice you have to make.

“The curfew is so you can’t be out at night win him. Maybe that will help you break that bond.”

Gary Wood, mitigating, said: “Staying in at night will keep him away from negative peer influences.”