29 people have now been arrested as police stage festive burglary crackdown

Detective chief inspector Lee Gosling
Detective chief inspector Lee Gosling

A burglary crackdown is gathering pace as more suspected criminals find themselves being quizzed by police.

Since Friday, officers have been visiting known offenders to remind them that they have them in their sights as part of Operation Sleigh.

Homes of suspected criminals have also been searched with 24 arrests made in the first three days of the crackdown.

Now, five more people have been added to the arrest sheet as officers continue to disrupt the lives of suspected burglars ahead of Christmas.

Detective Chief Inspector Lee Gosling said: “We are continuing to pro-actively target suspected burglars and to make arrests.

“Generally, people’s perception of burglary in the run up to Christmas is that it rises.

“We wanted to run this operation to reassure the public burglary is still one of our key priorities and the chances of becoming a victim of a burglary is low.”

Operation Sleigh, which is being carried out across South Tyneside and Sunderland, is aimed at targeting known burglars – and providing reassurance to residents in the run-up to Christmas.

Meanwhile residents are being asked to help police combat the burglars by ensuring doors and windows are locked and presents are not left in view, through house windows, to people passing by.

Motorists are also being reminded not to leave goods on show in cars, as it could prove too much for an opportunist thief to resist, and to double check that the doors are locked whenever they leave vehicles unattended.