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The attempted theft took place on Sunday, March 2, but as the crook tried to force his way through the broken window the smash and grab went wrong – it was he who was grabbed by the reinforced security glass.

“The window has a film of plastic sandwiched between two sheets of glass, to prevent it from shattering,” said Edward Baldwin, who was on hand to take this picture of the red-faced raider’s capture, “but I doubt the manufacturers imagined it would be quite so effective at stopping criminals!”

Mr Baldwin explained he had gone to the office to do some work, so the alarm was switched off, when he heard the glass smashing – followed, no doubt, by some agonised expletives. When he went to investigate, he found the burglar snared by a razor-sharp girdle of glass which held him fast until the police arrived.

Even then it took them nearly half an hour to free the raider – albeit only temporarily. To add to his embarrassment as officers eased him out of the window, the glass seemed determined to keep his trousers as a trophy.

Ironically, Mr Baldwin told the Antiques Trade Gazette, there was nothing of value in the office. “All the coins are kept apart in a very substantial safe,” he said. “The window will cost about £1000 to replace, but it will be worth it!”