The Nandos that burned down at the corner of Market and Small street in the Johannesburg CBD last night. 050310 Picture: Boxer Ngwenya

Durban - A man’s craving for Nando’s chicken landed him in a sticky situation early on Saturday morning.

While customers of the popular fast food outlet usually take a more conventional route through the front door to order their fiery flame-grilled chicken, one man opted to drop in on the Bluff branch via a chimney.

In the process, the 29-year-old intruder got stuck in a duct and was forced to call for help.

“Oh my God, please come help me guys! Oh my God please come help me. Come and help me guys,” was the desperate plea heard by Thabiso Nkomane, a cleaner who was working in the vicinity.

Nkomane alerted security officials who in turn summoned police and emergency services. Through the joint efforts of the local fire brigade and the SAPS Search and Rescue unit, the man was hoisted to safety without his chicken but covered in thick grease.

A police source, who could not be named because he’s not authorised to speak to the press, said the man allegedly made a similar entry into the store previously and treated himself to Nando’s goodies.

“He told us his accomplice fled when he got stuck. He also admitted to breaking into the same outlet on a previous occasion and making off with chicken and cooldrinks,” the source revealed.

Police spokesman Colonel Jay Naicker confirmed the incident is being investigated by SAPS Brighton Beach.

“The man has been charged with attempted housebreaking,” Naicker said.

He will appear in court on Monday.

Niel Steinhobël, general manager of Siyabuya Security, said some of his staff were alerted by the cleaner.

“One of our security officers got on to the roof when they heard the man’s screams and found him stuck nearly two metres into the duct,” Steinhobël said.

The manager said the robber initially tried to enter the store by breaking one of the window panes, but couldn’t make any further progress because of the sturdy burglar bars.

“He went feet first into the duct but it was too greasy and narrow for him to work his way down. Rescue workers used a rope to pull him out.”

Sunday Tribune