TWO men have been jailed for a total of 17 years for conspiracy to commit burglaries across Wearside.
Paul Wilson and Andrew Temple, both of North Tyneside, appeared at Newcastle Crown Court for sentence after previously pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit burglary.
Wilson, 43, of Bywell Grove, Shiremoor, was jailed for 10 years, and Temple, 19, of Buddle Terrace, West Allotment, for seven.
Police executed warrants in co-ordinated raids in North Tyneside, Newcastle and Northumberland in May, as part of an investigation into burglaries right across the Northumbria force area.
The investigation included more than 50 burglaries across Sunderland, Durham, Gateshead and Newcastle, amounting to around £100,000-worth of suspected stolen goods.
Chief Inspector Jerry Pearson, of the Sunderland Area Command burglary team, which spearheaded the inquiry, said: “Wilson and Temple caused a great deal of devastation and distress to communities right across the North East by breaking into homes and they are where they should be –behind bars.
“The judge in the case praised both the investigation and the professionalism of the officers involved while recognising the misery Wilson and Temple brought to north east communities.
“This should send out a message that we will not tolerate thieves and burglars in our neighbourhoods and will use every tool at our disposal using a variety of tactics to identify those responsible and put them before the courts.
“This is a significant result and means these two will be off the streets for a considerable amount of time.
“There will be no let-up in our activities and we’ll continue to do everything we can to identify thieves and burglars and ensure they are dealt with.”
The investigation was part of the force’s Operation Soundwave, aimed at tackling theft and burglary across the force area, and promoting crime prevention.
“Burglary is down right across the force,” added Chief Insp Pearson. “There have been 292 fewer victims of burglary this year compared to the same period last year, but we’re not complacent.
“A key part of our operations is preventing burglaries from happening in the first place, and while part of this is down to making sure burglars are in prison, crime prevention also plays a vital role.”
Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird said: “This conviction shows that Northumbria Police will do everything within its power to get those who commit crimes before the courts.
“I am determined that the force continues working with communities to reduce crime. Let this conviction be a warning to other would-be burglars that Northumbria Police will catch you.”
Crime prevention advice can be found on the force website at http://www.northumbria.police.uk/crimeprevention