A police officer broke the good news to a Hamilton man that they had nabbed a burglar attempting to steal from his home, but then delivered the bad news - they had sniffed out his cannabis operation.

A neighbour was alerted by the sound of smashing glass next door on Tuesday afternoon and when he went to investigate saw the burglar fleeing through the front door.

The quick-thinking informant blocked the burglar from escaping on a stolen bike and chased him on foot through the streets.

As he followed him, he relayed the information to police on his mobile phone. Police later tracked the offender down due to the good description given by the neighbour.


But when police returned to the Hamilton property to assess the damage they stumbled across cannabis being grown inside the house.

Hamilton police city tactical co-ordinator Freda Grace said officers noticed a smell coming from a smashed window and when they looked in saw an indoor cannabis-growing operation.

An officer then called the victim to break the news of the burglary and when he asked which window, the officer replied: "The one where cannabis was growing".

"There was a bit of a delay before the victim replied he would be down there shortly," Ms Grace said.

One man was charged with burglary and the victim was charged with cultivating cannabis.

Ms Grace praised the neighbour's efforts. Although there was a funny side to Tuesday's break-in, she said there was nothing funny about illegal drugs contributing to dishonesty offending.