Burglar rings police after bumping into dead body while robbing house
A terrified burglar in New Zealand called police after he bumped into a hanged body while prowling around a darkened house.
The burglar's screams awoke neighbours as he fled the property he had broken into, just after midnight in the North Island city of Hamilton.
He ran home and telephoned police to report the grisly find and turn himself in.
Hamilton-based Senior Sergeant Freda Grace said:"He got a heck of fright, that's for sure.
"It would have been terrible for anyone."
The body in the house was that of a man who is believed to have committed suicide.
Officers who were trying to contact the man's relatives confirmed that his death was not considered suspicious, and said the case would be handed over to the coroner.
Sgt Grace said that in the circumstances it is unlikely the 21-year-old burglar will be charged, but he would be given a stern warning.
Inspector Greg Nicholls, the area commander, said officers were investigating the "most unusual" case, which was unlike anything he had encountered in 28 years in the police force.
"I'm hopeful that this may be a career-changing moment for that burglar," he told the New Zealand Herald.
"I dare say for the burglar, if we remove the criminality of what he was doing, it would be really shocking.
"Can you imagine what that would be like in the dark?" Another police source said the burglar might have decided to turn himself in because he feared he would become implicated in a more serious criminal investigation when the body was eventually discovered.