Suspected car thief arrested as part of crackdown on car crime in Sunderland

Criminals have been warned the net is tightening around them after officers arrested a suspected thief as part of a crackdown on car crime.

The warning comes as the 31-year-old suspect is due in court to answer charges of theft from a motor vehicle and fraud committed in Sunderland.

Over the last six weeks, officers have more than 50 reports of vehicle-related crime in the Millfield and Ashbrooke areas of the city.

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These have included thieves trying car doors, swiping personal possessions that have been left on display and stealing unattended vehicles.

Officers have more than 50 reports of vehicle-related crime in the Millfield and Ashbrooke areas.Officers have more than 50 reports of vehicle-related crime in the Millfield and Ashbrooke areas.
Officers have more than 50 reports of vehicle-related crime in the Millfield and Ashbrooke areas.

Now, with some of the city’s most prolific offenders having recently been jailed, another suspect due in court next month and a host of others having been identified, officers have reassured the public that robust action is being taken against perpetrators.

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Sergeant Kimberley Wright, of Northumbria Police, said: “We have seen a sudden spike in car-related criminality in the city centre and we believe a small number of people to be responsible.

“We are carrying out various lines of inquiry to ensure anybody identified as being involved is arrested, taken to court and swiftly brought to justice.

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“I’d like to reassure the public that we are dealing with these incidents, and since the turn of the year, we have seen a number of our serial offenders convicted and put behind bars for vehicle-related offences.

“Just last week, we also secured charges against another suspect believed to have been involved in a theft from a motor vehicle in Ashbrooke as well as fraud offences.

“This work will not stop and our officers come into work every single day committed to tackling and preventing car crime.

“Anybody involved in this type of criminality can expect a knock at their door very soon.

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"The net is tightening around them and we will stop at nothing to take robust action against the minority who continue to show a total disregard for both the law and others in their community.

“I’d like to thank everyone for their cooperation and would ask people to keep reporting if they are a victim of crime. That information allows us to deploy targeted resources in a bid to catch those responsible and prevent incidents from happening in the first place.”

Sgt Wright also reminded residents to take an extra second to ensure car doors are locked and any valuables kept out of sight.

She added: “By working together, we can deter opportunistic thieves who quite often go street by street trying car doors in the hope that one is open. If they are locked, they will move on to the next.

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“It’s therefore absolutely imperative that we don’t make it easy for criminals – and taking that extra moment to double check could help dramatically reduce the risk of you becoming a victim of crime.”

Anybody who sees anyone acting suspiciously in their community is asked to contact police on 101 or via the ‘Tell Us Something’ page of the Northumbria Police website.

A police statement added: “In an emergency, or if a crime is taking place, always ring 999.”

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