Detectives hunting a man who had been on the run for nearly two years, caught up with him in Horley after he telephoned them to taunt them.

Sean Bowman, 44, a Martial Arts teacher in Sutton, called the detectives on February 20 and said: “Let’s play cops and robbers. I’ve been wanted for two years. Come and find me if you can.”

They did the next day.

The call had come about after Detective Constable Ian Griffith and Detective Sergeant James Knight had been making enquiries about Bowman’s whereabouts throughout Surrey, Hampshire and London. Det Con Griffith said: “We had obviously touched a nerve somewhere and that had prompted the call to us.”

After further enquiries, the detectives tracked Bowman down to his girlfriend’s address in Horley.

They found him hiding in a bedroom wardrobe, and arrested him.

He had been running himself a bath when they knocked on the front door.

Bowman, of Whitmore Way, Horley, had been wanted since March 2011 for an assault on a woman in the car park at the Butterchurn pub, Erskine Road, Sutton. He was also wanted by police for two non-residential burglaries.

The first burglary was at PTS Plumbers Merchants, Slyfield Industrial Estate, Guildford, on July 25 last year, when at 9am, Bowman grabbed a boxed Bosch boiler worth £1,400 from inside the entrance to the warehouse. He put the boiler in the boot of his car and drove off.

The second burglary was at an electrical warehouse at City Electrical Factors, Barwell Business Park, Chessington, on January 3, this year.

Between 9am and 9.30am, Bowman drove up, entered the premises and stole a large cardboard box containing £1,000 worth of lighting equipment, ordered by another customer, before driving off.

CCTV showed Bowman at both places stealing the goods.

Bowman pleaded guilty to the burglary offences and at Camberwell Green Magistrates Court on Saturday, February 22, was ordered to pay a total of £429 in fines, compensation and court costs.