Cheeky thieves stole helmet from Sunderland police officer’s head

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THIEVES have stolen computers, radios and cameras from police officers across Wearside, according to official figures.

Thefts in the past three years include two computers taken from a police station, a camera, satnav and documents swiped from a patrol vehicle, as well as two unattended bicycles.

A helmet was also snatched off an officer’s head, car keys were taken during a scuffle and a personal alarm disappeared during a call-out.

Elsewhere, a radio was lost when it fell off an officer’s belt and handcuffs were reported missing when an offender absconded while wearing them.

Smaller pieces of kit which were reported stolen include a pen, which was “taken from a cupboard” by a suspect after an interview, a jacket and bicycle saddle. The information, revealed in a Freedom of Information request by the Echo, covers the Sunderland force area.

Many of the items, including the computers, documents and radio, were recovered.

However, a £450 bike, £200 personal alarm and £100 satnav never turned up.

Sunderland Superintendent Alan Veitch defended the force’s record and maintained officers made every effort to recover missing equipment.

“We believe that we have a low rate of theft bearing in mind the difficult kind of situations officers find themselves in on a daily basis,” he said.

“There is a robust policy in place to ensure all such incidents are investigated thoroughly and the offenders brought to justice.”