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Sunderland company boss describes break-in as feeling “like a punch in the gut” as thousands of pounds of valuable equipment stolen

A Sunderland company boss has described a break-in as feeling “like a punch in the gut” after thieves stole thousands of pounds worth of equipment.

By Neil Fatkin
Friday, 6th May 2022, 6:34 pm

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The Media Savvy Community Interest Company, in Sunniside, said 20 laptops, 12 tablets and a range of high-end camera equipment were stolen.

Dan Makaveli, Director of Media Savvy CIC said: “We’re devastated by the events of last weekend. It’s not only the stolen equipment, damage caused and the uneasy feeling of having these people rummaging around our property and personal items belonging to staff members, it is also the upset felt by the hardworking teams of the other organisations that use the building as their homes.

"There’s a significant short-term knock-on effect this has on our beneficiaries who rely on us to not only learn new skills using the equipment which has now been stolen, but also for the social and pastoral aspects that so many rely upon.

Damage caused to the Media Savvy offices during the break-in. Photograph: Media Savvy

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"It really feels like a punch in the gut given that we have working so hard in recent years to be now investing in the region of a quarter of a million pounds into a new arm of our venture, Diego’s Joint, which has the primary objective of creating jobs for people facing multiple and complex barriers, who have bene unable to gain employment opportunities elsewhere.”

The break-in is a setback for Media Savvy CIC who will soon be opening the adjacent building as Diego’s Joint, a community focussed bar, café and events space. After over 250k investment into the new project, they hope to open this summer, despite this setback.

The break-in took place around 2.20pm on Sunday May 1 and police are appealing for information to help track down the culprits.

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A Northumbria Police spokesperson said: “Police received a report of a burglary at a premises on Norfolk Street, Sunderland.

“It is believed those responsible forced entry to the property over the bank holiday weekend and stole a quantity of electronics including laptops and sound equipment.

“Enquiries are ongoing and anyone with information is asked to contact officers by calling 101 and using reference number NP-20220503-0575.”