A BIRTHDAY surprise was ruined after hundreds of pounds in presents were stolen from a Metro station.
Police have released CCTV of a woman they believe can help with their inquiries into the missing gifts.
The appeal comes after a 29-year-old man had been shopping for presents for his girlfriend’s birthday.
As he boarded his train at 5.50pm on Wednesday, August 29, at Pallion Metro Station, he left the gifts on stairs where he had been waiting.
Pc Graham Marshall, of British Transport Police, said: “The presents, a pink helium balloon, a gift card containing £200 and a bottle perfume, were on the steps.
“A woman left the train and walked passed the gifts before leaving the station.
“A short while later she returned, picked up the gifts and left again, letting go of the balloon as she exited.
“We’re asking for members of the public to help us identify the woman caught on CCTV as we believe she may be able to assist us with our inquiries.”
The appeal comes follow the launch of Operation Magnum Operation Magnum, a campaign to help rail passengers keep valuables safe from pickpockets, gadget-grabbers and luggage thieves.
As part of the initiative, officers have issued video clips to help the travelling public spot 13 of the most common tricks thieves use.
The operation will see BTP officers work with train operating companies and local police forces to disrupt and deter pickpockets who prey on unsuspecting commuters and tourists at busy Sunderland stations, thieves who brazenly snatch expensive smartphones from distracted passengers’ hands and those who steal luggage and valuables on trains.
Anyone with information about the missing gifts is asked to contact BTP on 0800 40 50 40 or text 61016 quoting background reference B2/NEA of 11/09/2013.