Prolific thief who appeared in Channel 4 documentary 'Prison' from Durham Jail is back behind bars after crime spree

A thief who featured in a documentary about Durham Prison is back behind bars after a crime spree which saw him pocket 40 mobile phones and target a number of businesses.

By Neil Fatkin
Thursday, 28th July 2022, 2:09 pm

Michael Surtees, 35, appeared in ‘Prison’ – a Channel 4 documentary about life in HMP Durham - but after being released he is now beginning a new 12 month jail sentence after admitting stealing a quantity of mobiles worth £6,000 from Fix Today Phone and Repair on Durham Road in Birtley on July 9.

Surtees was recognised by officers studying CCTV images and traces of his blood were also found at the scene.

As the hunt to find Surtees was launched, the thief also stole items from vehicles in Wallsend as well as carrying out break-ins at Pizza Hut, Bella Italia, Odeon and Cassia at Silverlink.

Michael Surtees appeared on a TV documentary about life in HMP Durham and is now back behind bars after going on a crime spree.

It was during a trip to Durham to carryout a further offence that Surtees was eventually intercepted by police officers where he was arrested and interviewed about his crime spree.

Surtees was charged with multiple offences and on Tuesday, July 19 he appeared at South Tyneside Magistrates Court where he pleaded guilty to theft from a motor vehicle and burglary.

Speaking after the sentencing, Detective Sergeant David Lumsden, from Northumbria Police, said: “After serving a previous sentence for burglary, Surtees was released and given the opportunity to prove himself and show he could contribute positively to the community – but instead, he chose to go back to his old ways which is disappointing.”