Sneak-in burglar stole handbag from 80-year-old Sunderland woman

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POLICE are investigating a sneak-in burglary at a Sunderland house.

It happened at 1pm on Monday, October 14, when a man went into a house off Hylton Road in Millfield, through an unlocked door. He was disturbed by the resident - a woman aged in her 80s - and grabbed her handbag from the side before running off.

The woman wasn’t hurt but was left shocked by the incident. Police are appealing for witnesses to the burglary or for anyone with information to get in touch.

During enquiries, officers tried several door handles in the surrounding area and found a number of them were unlocked - they have given out door alarms to those people and offered them crime prevention advice.

Neighbourhood Inspector Mick Hall said: “Officers have been patrolling the area near to Sunderland Royal Hospital in Millfield where we have received reports of burglaries taking place after doors have been left unlocked.

“If officers find a door unlocked they are giving out door alarms and providing the homeowner with crime prevention advice. It’s vital people lock their doors, even when inside, as it only takes a few moments for an opportunist thief to try a door handle and steal from inside.

“People should ensure their elderly relatives and neighbours also have this advice. They should also report anything unusual or suspicious they see in their neighbourhood to police.

“We continue to be pro-active around those involved in burglaries in our communities and additional patrols are taking place in this area.”

The advice is part of Northumbria Police’s Operation Soundwave, aimed at tackling opportunist thieves and promoting crime prevention advice.

Anyone with information, or anyone who would like a door alarm, is asked to contact police on 101 ext 69191, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.