Bungling South Shields fugitive told undercover detectives he was on the run
A bungling fugitive is back in jail after he unknowingly asked two undercover detectives for help in evading capture.
Jamie Lee, 29, from South Shields, received a 15-month sentence after he was convicted of burglary following a hearing at Newcastle Crown Court in October 2018.
After breaching his licence conditions following his release last month, Lee was served with a prison recall in his absence.
His return journey to jail started on Saturday after he boarded a Metro service heading towards Newcastle without paying.
As he got off the train in the city centre, Lee confessed to two passengers that he was wanted by police and so wanted to know if there were officers were at the top of the escalators checking tickets.
His newly-made acquaintances, however, were actually plain-clothed cops who subsequently arrested him.
Sergeant Tim Hand, of Northumbria Police’s Metro Unit, said: “Jamie Lee was a wanted man who had tried to avoid detection for a number of weeks.
“But his deceit certainly caught up with him at the weekend when he illegally boarded a Metro train and tried to avoid paying the fare.
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“In doing so, he didn’t realise that the passengers he had approached were actually police officers, who were more than happy to re-arrest him and put him back before the courts.
“We have a team of plain-clothed and uniformed officers who carry out regular patrols at Metro stations across the network, as well as on-board trains to ensure the safety of passengers.”
Lee, of Marsden Road, has since returned to prison.
A spokesperson for the Tyne and Wear Metro said: “This is one passenger who certainly got more than he bargained for when he decided it was a good idea to dodge his fare.
“There are uniformed and plain clothed police regularly patrolling on our network alongside record levels of frontline customer service staff.
“We invest more than a million pounds on a dedicated Metro unit who target anti-social behaviour and fare evasion.
“Crime on Metro is low but when it does occur it gets dealt with swiftly.”