Sunderland burglar who stole Apple MacBook and designer watches caught thanks to public appeal

The smashed window where the burglar gained access to the flat on West Sunniside, Sunderland.
The smashed window where the burglar gained access to the flat on West Sunniside, Sunderland.

Police have thanked the public for helping bring an elusive burglar to justice.

Ian Irwin, 48, broke into a flat on West Sunniside, Sunderland, on September 25 last year.

He smashed a window and raided the premises, making off with a number of designer watches, an Apple Macbook and laptop worth in the region of £2,000.

Forensic teams obtained a small sample of blood on the bedroom window, which was matched to Irwin.

In November, in a bid to locate the suspect who was not living at a fixed address, police ran an appeal and asked the public to come forward with information.

As a result of the intelligence provided, officers arrested Irwin 48 hours later and charged him with burglary. He pleaded guilty at Newcastle Crown Court on December 21 and will be sentenced next month.

Detective Constable Graeme Joyce, of Northumbria Police, said: “Burglary is an incredibly emotive crime which can cause a great deal of distress to victims.

“A thorough investigation was carried out into this burglary and Irwin immediately became somebody of interest to police, given his DNA was found at the scene.

“It was then just a matter of locating him – and I would like to thank the public for their help in providing the vital information that led to his arrest and subsequent prosecution.”

Irwin, of no fixed abode, is due to be sentenced at Newcastle Crown Court on February 13.