TWO teenage takeaway robbers were caught red-handed after bragging about their fastfood getaway on Facebook.

Charlotte Chapman, 19, and Lauren Rix, 18, were arrested after they thanked the takeaway shop for the “free” food in a status on the social networking site.

The pair lured a delivery man to an empty house in Broomfields, Basildon, before snatching the £30 takeaway and running off.

Two men, who have never been caught, hit the man over the back of the head to help their escape.

Police later discovered empty wrappings for the order, which included four kebabs, a cheeseburger, cheesy chips, fries and a bottle of Pepsi, dumped on Rix’s balcony.

Basildon Magistrates’ Court heard yesterday Chapman tagged Rix in a Facebook status, saying “Thanks for the free food Cosmos” just moments after the theft.

Chapman, of Heath Road, Orsett, and Rix, of Broomfields, Basildon, both received a 12- month conditional discharge yesterday.

They were also ordered to pay for the takeaway they stole.

In mitigation, Rix’s solicitor, Mr Callum, told the court his client had stolen the food because she had no money.

He said: “It beggers belief someone could be so stupid.

“Miss Rix was having problems with her benefit application and they came up with this plan to get some free food. But they are not criminal masterminds and this is the first time they have been in trouble.”

The court heard the teenagers called Cosmos takeaway, at Basildon bus station, at about 11pm on January 13 and placed an order for £37.09 of food to be delivered to a house next door to Rix’s home in Broomfields.

The girls lurked outside the property until the delivery driver arrived.

When he handed over the food, they ran off without paying.

He was then hit over the back of the head.

Police later traced the telephone number used to make the order and found it was registered to Chapman.