AN off-duty police officer chased and arrested a burglar after she broke into a pharmacy just 100 metres from Huntingdon police station.

Detective Constable Andrew MacDonald was walking out of the police station on Huntingdon ring road at about 11.15pm on March 12, when he heard a burglar alarm sounding.

He got into his car and drove round to Ermine Street where he saw Hollie Duquemin in the Lloyds Pharmacy. She fled and DC MacDonald gave chase, catching her at the back of the Coach and Horses, where she resisted arrested and strained a ligament in the officer's finger.

Huntingdon magistrates heard that Duquemin, 20, had stolen around £20 worth of medication, tablets, cough syrup, and creams from the pharmacy.

Prosecuting, Penny Cannon said Duquemin, when questioned, admitted breaking in.

Stephanie Wainwright, representing Duquemin, of Percy Green Place, Stukeley Meadows, said: "She doesn't give any reason for doing this except she was drunk and stupid.

"She is remorseful and would benefit from going on a thinking skills workshop as, although she doesn't have a problem with alcohol, Duquemin accepts she needs help to stop her from drinking and doing silly and stupid things."

DC Macdonald said: "I was leaving the station when I heard the alarm going off. I drove round the corner and saw the front window was smashed and a woman was in the shop.

"I dialled 999 and chased after them across a car park. She was dropping all of the stolen medication as she ran off but I eventually caught up with her in the car park behind the Coach and Horses pub.

"She put up a fight but luckily back-up arrived soon afterwards."

Duquemin also admitted assault with intent to resist arrests and burglary when she appeared at Huntingdon Law Courts last month. She was given a suspended 16-week sentence for each charge to run concurrently. She was also ordered to 12-months supervision, attend a thinking skills workshop, to pay £20 compensation and £85 costs.

Duquemin's accomplice, Aidan Clarke, 18, of Ermine Street, admitted stealing a pedal cycle at Huntingdon Magistrates' court on March 29. He was given a 12-month conditional discharge.