A BURGLARY victim whose front window was smashed has condemned the police’s decision to arrest a suspect on suspicion of criminal damage.

Crooks targeted a groundfloor flat twice in 24 hours.

During the second break-in attempt, a man, 22, was arrested.

The decision to question him on suspicion of criminal damage and not a more serious charge, such as attempted burglary, has angered victim Mark Wild.

Mr Wild, 44, of Winnock Road, Colchester, said: “I know what he was trying to do, I was there. I opened the curtains and there he was, attempting to get in. He had his elbow in the frame.

“I’m 100 per cent sure he was trying to get into my flat – he was trying to burgle me.

“It was between 2am and 3am, so I don’t see what else he would be trying to do. It happened the night before and it was going to happen again.”

Mr Wild has contacted Essex Police to seek clarification.

An Essex Police spokesman said officers were satisfied the criminal damage accusation was sufficient.

He said: “Burglary is a big priority for us and if we thought it was an attempted burglary in this case, we would have acted along those lines.”

Raiders initially broke into the Colchester Borough Homes tenant’s flat by levering open the front window at about 2am on Tuesday morning.

About 100 CDs, some personal possessions and a cooked chicken were taken.

Then, during the early hours of yesterday morning, Mr Wild woke up to noise at the same front window.

When he went to find out what was going on, he found the window had been smashed in and a man was trying to flee. A police spokesman said: “Police were contacted shortly before 2.30am on Wednesday following reports a man had broken a window of a flat in Winnock Road.

“Officers arrived and arrested a man, 22, of no fixed address.”

  •  Liam Dunne has been charged with causing criminal damage. The 22-year-old theatre employee, of School Road, Great Horkesley, has been released on police bail.