Sunderland burglar jailed after victims confronted him and flagged down passing police car

A Sunderland burglar has been jailed for a year after he was caught trying to break into a home by the owners who confronted him and flagged down a passing police car.

Monday, 19th August 2019, 2:55 pm
Updated Monday, 19th August 2019, 11:06 pm
Paul Smith has been jailed for 12 months

On the evening of May 18, a couple realised somebody was in their home when their dog began to bark.

After heading towards the kitchen to investigate, one of the occupants saw her back door open and an arm reach into the property.

The occupants shouted at the intruder and ran around the front of the property in News Silksworth, where they confronted him.

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After finding the man was in possession of a set of keys which included a remote control for the garage, the couple saw a passing police car and quickly flagged down officers.

Paul Smith, 38, of Altrincham Tower, Sunderland was subsequently charged with burglary and last month (July 10) admitted the offence at Newcastle Crown Court.

Smith was back in the dock for sentencing on Thursday, August 8, and was jailed for 12 months.

Detective Sergeant Steve Wallace, of Northumbria Police’s Southern Burglary Team, said: “This was a case of quick-thinking by the occupants who saw a police car driving down the road and quickly got the attention of officers.

“As a result of their swift reactions, Smith was arrested at the scene and is now behind bars.

“Burglary is such an intrusive crime, and as a result, we do not apologise for our zero-tolerance approach. We are committed to ensuring these offenders who attempt to prey on others in our communities are dealt with robustly and ultimately brought to justice.

“Our message to burglars is clear; we will pursue you, we will catch you, and you will be convicted.”

Det Sgt Wallace also encouraged residents to be vigilant throughout the summer months as opportunistic offenders look for quick wins.

Residents are ensured to make sure homes are secure before going away on holiday and making sure valuables aren’t on display.

Anyone who is a victim of crime, or who has any concerns, is asked to contact police on 101. In an emergency, ring 999.