Dad turns detective after thieves stole children’s games

editorial image
Have your say

TWO burglars are behind bars after a dad turned DIY detective when his children’s games were stolen.

Quick-thinking Philip Armstrong took to the streets to find out if any of the property taken from his Sunderland home had been sold on to a shop.

Newcastle Crown Court heard he tracked down his stolen Xbox console to a cash exchange store in Sunderland city centre.

Staff at the shop checked its CCTV footage and as a result, raiders Aaron Burgess and Michael Kirtley were traced and arrested.

Burgess, 23, of Fenton Square, Ford Estate, admitted burglary and was jailed for 27 months.

Kirtley, 24, of Duncan Street, Pallion, pleaded guilty to the same charge and was jailed for eight months.

Recorder Martin Bethel said the offence was “nasty”.

He told the pair: “You were caught as a result of the endeavours of the householder who tracked you down through a property place where you had sold the stolen property.”

Burgess had also admitted another house burglary carried out in the city 11 days earlier.

Prosecutor Emma Dowling told the court Mr Armstrong, his partner and four children had gone out to a family dentist appointment when their home was raided on January 24.

The burglars had taken an Xbox console, two Nintendo DS machines and a number of games.

It was after Mr Armstrong was told Kirtley, who lived at the property before the family moved in, had been seen in a shop trying to sell property he grew suspicious and decided to take the matter into his own hands.

Miss Dowling said: “His suspicions were aroused so he went himself to Sunderland and made various inquiries at second hand shops to find if any of his property was there.

“He went to CEX in Sunderland and saw his Xbox console.

“Staff there were spoken to and CCTV footage was viewed.

“It showed Kirtley and Burgess both attended the store and both were seen to engage in the transaction involving an Xbox games console and some games.”

Kirtley claimed he had simply acted as lookout while Burgess raided the family home.

He admitted he should not had done what he did and claimed he saw Mr Armstrong as a friend.

Burgess made no reply during police interview.

His barrister Andrew Finlay told the court yesterday Burgess had been high on drink and drugs when he carried out both house raids.

Twitter: @sunderlandecho