THEY were certainly prepared for a burglary.

Anthony Harbun and Leon Cobley were dressed in dark clothing, wore balaclavas, armed with a crowbar and had taped over the registration plate of their getaway vehicle.

They broke a window to get into the Three mobile phone shop in Winchester High Street at 4am on Sunday February 18, a court heard.

There was a snag though. They had been spotted by the city council's CCTV cameras and the police were alerted.

READ MORE HERE: Two men charged with burglary of Winchester High Street shop

So as  the pair rummaged through the upper floor looking for mobile phones the police arrived to arrest them, Harbun, Cobley and all.

Harbun, 55, of Ringwood Road, Bournemouth, and Cobley, 52, of no fixed abode, admitted the offence in police interview and pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity, at Basingstoke Magistrates Court the following day.

Prosecuting, Matthew Bolt said both men were career criminals, with the court hearing Cobley has 25 convictions for 54 offences and Harbun 39 for 90 offences.

Paul Patterson, mitigating for Harbun, a secondhand car dealer, said: "He had found himself in a financial position that he needed to remedy. He was in significant debt."

Hampshire Chronicle: The Three mobile phone shop in High Street, Winchester

He said Harbun had moved from Birmingham to Bournemouth to help tackle his drug problems and there had been no offending since 2015.

Aqsa Hussain, for Cobley, said he had been addicted to drugs his adult life and a 25-year relationship had broken down last year.

He was homeless and had lost £3,000 deposit in a scam on Facebook Marketplace.

Sentencing, the judge Mr Recorder R Harris, said: "Both of you have been described as career criminals with a specialism for burglary. The reason put forward for this burglary is that you were both found yourselves in difficulties financially after you paid a deposit on a property' to a person who didn't own it.

Harbun was jailed for eight months. Cobley was jailed for 11 months after also admitting having an axe in his car in King's Lynn in November 2022. Both men have been in custody since the burglary, around three months.